Dealing with the IRS is rarely easy. But it can be especially difficult if you are being audited, have an unpaid tax balance, or are facing a court summons regarding your taxes. If you find yourself overwhelmed by a challenging tax situation, you have the option of authorizing a qualified tax specialist to represent you before the IRS. To do this, you must complete and submit a special tax form known as Form 2848. Below is a look at the role of this form and six reasons why you may need to file Form 2848.
What Is Form 2848 and How Is It Used?
Commonly known as power of attorney, or POA, Form 2848 is a two-page IRS tax form that authorizes a qualified person to represent you before the IRS. By submitting Form 2848, you give permission for an eligible individual to examine your tax information. The IRS provides guidelines regarding Form 2848, noting that your representative must be an eligible person, such as a tax attorney or CPA:
“Use Form 2848 to authorize an individual to represent you before the IRS. The individual you authorize must be a person eligible to practice before the IRS. Your authorization of a qualifying representative will also allow that individual to receive and inspect your confidential tax information.” – United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
What Are the Top 6 Reasons to File Form 2848?
There are multiple reasons why taxpayers file Form 2848. In most cases, the form is warranted when a taxpayer needs assistance filing their taxes or when tax troubles strike. Some specific reasons why you may need to file Form 2848 are as follows:
1) You Are Being Audited
Receiving news from the IRS that you will be audited can be alarming – especially if you already struggle a bit preparing your taxes. Most IRS audits are conducted by mail, though the audit may also be conducted at an IRS branch office in your area.
In rare circumstances, an IRS auditor may pay a visit to your home to gather information. Regardless of the type of audit you are facing, you will boost your odds of a favorable outcome if you seek the guidance of a tax lawyer, or CP, and file Form 2848.
2) You Have an Unpaid Tax Balance
“If you owe back taxes and don’t know how you’re going to pay the debt, the FTC, the nation’s consumer protection agency, says don’t panic, take a deep breath, and consider your options.” – United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Owing back taxes can be stressful. Fortunately, you may be eligible for options such as an installment agreement or Offer in Compromise (OIC). But deciding which option to take and negotiating on tax matters is intimidating for a lot of people.
A skilled tax lawyer can help you decide how to best proceed and can handle communications with the IRS. However, you will need to submit Form 2848 to give your lawyer access to your tax information.
3) You Have to Go to Tax Court
Much like an audit or back taxes, the prospect of going to tax court is unnerving. Many people who are summoned to tax court have a tax deficiency or related unresolved matter. Further, many cases are settled before trial, in large part because taxpayers often hire tax attorneys to help ensure that their cases proceed as quickly and affordably as possible.
4) Your Health or Well-Being Is Compromised
Health complications may interfere with your ability to file your taxes accurately and in a timely fashion. If your eyesight is impaired or you are not able to fully function, a power of attorney allows a qualified person you designate to access your information and represent you before the IRS. If your health improves and you no longer wish to grant an agent access to your taxes, you can revoke a previously submitted form.
5) You Want a Professional to Manage Your Taxes
“Most CPA tax practitioners regularly use a Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, to represent their clients…Practitioners may withdraw an authorization at any time.” – Susan C. Allen, CPA/CITP, CGMA, Journal of Accountancy
One of the most common reasons people file Form 2848 is to ensure that their taxes are prepared by an experienced tax professional. Whether you feel uncomfortable preparing your own tax return or you simply want to make sure you avoid errors, you can fill out Form 2848. Your authorization can be withdrawn at any time for your security.
6) Your Tax Situation Is Suddenly More Complicated
Receiving a large inheritance, getting divorced, or selling property can add to the complexity of your tax situation. When an unexpected life change occurs, it often has an impact on the taxes you pay. A simple filing mistake could end up costing you thousands of dollars and may even lead to an audit. Rather than try to navigate through these changes on your own, you may decide to complete Form 2848 and enlist the help of a tax expert.
What Should You Do If You Would Like to Learn More About Form 2848?
As outlined above, Form 2848 serves a variety of purposes for taxpayers. But sometimes the reasons to file 2848 are not crystal clear. While the IRS provides instructions for Form 2848, they contain a lot of fine print that can make it difficult for most taxpayers to easily interpret them.
The single best way to determine whether you should file Form 2848 is to seek the expertise of an IRS tax lawyer. With the help of a trusted tax attorney, you can approach your taxes with confidence knowing that you are complying with IRS requirements.
For over ten years, taxpayers across America have turned to Silver Tax Group for guidance filing their taxes. Whether you are seeking emergency tax assistance, a criminal tax defense attorney, or simply have a question about Form 2848, we are here to help you. We invite you to contact us today to receive the professional tax guidance you deserve!