Thursday, August 14, 2014

IRS Updates Power-of-Attorney Form; Filing By Mail Or Fax Only; Revised Form 2848:  The IRS has posted revised versions of Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, and its Instructions on its website. The IRS reminded practitioners that Form 2848 must be filed on paper or sent to the IRS by fax, because of the discontinuance of the agency’s Disclosure Authorization program.

ExactCPA Take Away. "The backlash the IRS received from discontinuing e-filing of Form 2848 was huge," Melanie Lauridsen, technical manager, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA),it was said. "Without a power of attorney, practitioners cannot do business with the IRS on behalf of their clients." The IRS is already cautioning practitioners to expect a challenging filing season because of new requirements under the Affordable Care Act, budgetary constraints and increased demand for taxpayer services. Losing the ability to e-file Form 2848 is one more hurdle for practitioners, Lauridsen noted.


A practitioner can represent a taxpayer before the IRS only if the taxpayer gives the practitioner a power of attorney and the practitioner files a declaration of representative. The IRS has developed Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative.

In CCA 200851081, IRS Chief Counsel explained that the agency will accept a power of attorney not filed on a Form 2848 if it contains substantially the same information required by Form 2848. If the requisite information is missing, a Form 2848 may be executed to provide the missing information to the IRS.

Electronic filing

The Disclosure Authorization program allowed practitioners to electronically file Form 2848. In 2013, the IRS announced that it would retire the Disclosure Authorization program because of low usage.

The IRS has signaled it is exploring the development of a new online system for filing Form 2848 but has not yet provided specific details, Lauridsen said.


The IRS has deleted prior references to electronic filing of Form 2848.
Filing. Form 2848 may be mailed to the IRS (according to the "Where to File Chart" in the Instructions). Alternatively, Form 2848 may be sent by fax to the IRS.

PPACA. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) enacted Code Sec. 5000A, the individual shared responsibility payment (individual mandate) and Code Sec. 4980H, the employer shared responsibility payment (employer mandate). Taxpayers must specify on Form 2848, "Description of Matter", if they are authorizing representation for the individual mandate or employer mandate, the IRS explained.
Reference: TRC IRS: 3,208.10.


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