In a News Release and webpage, IRS has announced its launch of the Tax Pro Account website, which allows taxpayers to control online who can represent them and/or view their tax records. IRS has also provided instructions for the use of the new website.
Form 2848, i.e., the Power of Attorney (POA) form, is a taxpayer’s written authorization appointing an eligible individual to represent the taxpayer before IRS, including performing certain acts on the taxpayer’s behalf. It also authorizes the representative to receive related confidential tax information of the taxpayer from IRS. Form 8821, the Tax Information Authorization (TIA) form, is a taxpayer’s written authorization designating a third party to receive and view the taxpayer’s information. (IR 2021-20, 1/25/2021)
The Tax Pro Account process, generally.
Tax professionals may go to the new Tax Pro Account on IRS.gov to digitally initiate POAs and TIAs. These digital authorization requests are simpler versions of Forms 2848 and 8821.
Once completed and submitted by the tax professional, the authorization requests will appear in the taxpayers’ Online Account for their review, approval or rejection and electronic signature. Because the taxpayers’ identities already are verified at the time of login, they need only check a box as their signature and submit the authorization request to IRS.
At that point, completed digital authorization, if accurate, will go directly to IRS’s Centralized Authorization File (CAF) database and will not require manual processing. Most requests will be immediately recorded and appear on the list of approved authorizations in the taxpayer’s Online Account and the tax professional’s Tax Pro Account. Some authorizations may take up to 48 hours. Tax professionals may then go to e-Services Transcript Delivery Service to see the taxpayer’s records.
Which taxpayers may use the digital authorization process.
Currently, the digital authorization process is available only to individual taxpayers, not businesses or other entities. Individual taxpayer must have an address in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia and the ability to access their IRS online account.
What must a professional do to be able to use Tax Pro Account.
To use Tax Pro Account, one must have:
- For Tax Information Authorization:
- A Centralized Authorization File (CAF) number in good standing assigned to the tax professional as an individual; and
- A CAF address in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia.
- For Power of Attorney:
- A Centralized Authorization File (CAF) number in good standing assigned to the tax professional as an individual;
- A CAF address in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia;
- Authority to practice before IRS as an attorney, certified public accountant, enrolled agent, enrolled actuary or enrolled retirement plan agent; and
- License to practice in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia as an attorney or certified public accountant.
Presumably, requirement “d)” above only applies to persons who aren’t enrolled agents, enrolled actuaries or enrolled retirement plan agents.
Hours of service.
Tax Pro Account is available: Monday 6 a.m. ET to Saturday 9 p.m. ET Sunday 10 a.m. to midnight ET (occasionally down for additional hours for maintenance).
Which tax matters can be authorized.
Tax matters can be authorized from year 2000 and forward, plus three future years (calendar year only, not fiscal year) with respect to:
- Form 1040 Income Tax
- Split Spousal Assessment or Form 8857 Innocent Spouse Relief
- Shared Responsibility Payment
- Shared Responsibility Payment – Split Spousal Assessment; and
- Civil Penalty (limited to periods of March, June, September and December)
Effect of use of Tax Pro Account on prior authorizations.
Submitting with Tax Pro Account will revoke any prior authorization(s) on file with IRS for the same tax matters, tax periods and authorization types. Taxpayers who wish to keep other authorizations intact must submit a Form 2848 or 8821 by fax, mail or online.
Other subjects covered by IRS’s Tax Pro Account instructions.
IRS also provides instructions on the following subjects: accessibility by disabled persons, what is displayed in the taxpayer’s Online Account and the Tax Pro Account, taxpayer and tax professional physical address rules, multiple representatives, authorizations for overlapping tax periods, and obtaining copies of authorization requests.
To continue your research on Form 2848, see FTC2d/FIN ¶T-1149. For Form 8821, see FTC2d/FIN ¶S-6311.
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