Couples who filed joint returns must now file separate powers of attorney

BY SALLY P. SCHREIBER

Starting March 1, the IRS will no longer accept old versions of Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, and will accept only the version released in October 2011. The new version of the form requires a husband and wife who filed a joint tax return to each file a separate power of attorney on separate Forms 2848 to designate the representative he or she chooses, even if it is the same person (Instructions to Form 2848 (rev. October 2011)).

Under the most recent prior version of Form 2848 (rev. June 2008), a husband and wife who filed a joint return and wanted to have the same representative could file one Form 2848 (Instructions to Form 2848 (rev. June 2008)).

Another change in the form is that the representative must provide his or her preparer tax identification number (PTIN). A new category of representative—registered tax return preparer—has been added to the form.

In discussions with Benson Goldstein, senior technical manager, tax, for the AICPA, the IRS has indicated that only the new version of Form 2848 will be accepted, starting on March, 1. Husbands and wives who already had a power of attorney on file as of that date do not have to file new separate forms.

Sally P. Schreiber ( sschreiber@aicpa.org ) is a JofA senior editor.

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