The IRS has unveiled its online "Tax Pro Account" portal (available at www.irs.gov) to allow tax professionals to interact digitally with the Service in a range of ways. Initially, the accounts allow electronic submission of (1) powers of attorney (POAs) to authorize tax practitioners to represent individual taxpayers and (2) tax information authorizations (TIAs) to view those taxpayers' accounts.
Tax Pro Account, which is separate from e-Services, is intended to speed the time for obtaining authorizations to represent taxpayers. The digital submissions go directly to the Centralized Authorization File (CAF) database and do not require manual processing by IRS personnel, the Service said. The digital POAs and TIAs are simpler versions of Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, and Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization.
Tax Pro Account does not replace other options for obtaining third-party authorizations: POAs and TIAs will still be accepted by fax, mail, or the "Submit Forms 2848 and 8821 Online" portal — although all of these require manual processing.
Initially, Tax Pro Account is used to obtain POAs and TIAs only from individual taxpayers, not businesses or other entities. Some tips on using the new automated system include:
- The taxpayer must have an IRS online account;
- The tax professional's and taxpayer's names and addresses must match IRS records exactly;
- The tax professional must already have a CAF number and be in good standing with the IRS; and
- Both the tax professional and the taxpayer must have addresses in the United States.
Concise, step-by-step instructions on how to use Tax Pro Account to obtain authorizations to represent taxpayers can be found in IRS Publication 5533-A, How to Submit Authorizations Using Tax Pro Account and Online Account. Additional information is available on the Tax Pro Account page.
- IRS News Release IR-2021-154
— By Dave Strausfeld, J.D., a JofA senior editor.