Among other changes, the new form reflects the 2013 IRS policy change under which the form could no longer be filed electronically and a requirement that certain taxpayer representatives provide a valid preparer tax identification number (PTIN).
According to ThompsonReuters Notable changes to Form 2848 include:
- No electronic filing. All references to electronic filing of Form 2848 have been removed from the form's instructions.
- Requirement to include PTIN. RTRPs and unenrolled return preparers must provide a valid PTIN to represent a taxpayer before IRS.
- Change in format of lines on which taxpayer specifies which acts he is authorizing, etc. The new form changes the formats of Lines 3 and 5, which are the lines on which the taxpayer specifies which specific acts he is authorizing the representative to perform and which specific acts he is not authorizing.
- Issues involving the number of representatives. The number of representatives that a taxpayer can authorize on a single Form 2848 has been expanded from three to four. A taxpayer who wishes to authorize more than four representatives must now both write “See attached for additional representatives” in the space to the right of Line 2 and attach additional Form(s) 2848. And, no more than two representatives may receive copies of notices and communications sent to the taxpayer by IRS.
- Clarification of rule precluding representatives from endorsing refund checks. Both the form and its instructions contain instructions to the effect that representatives are not authorized to endorse or otherwise negotiate any check (including directing or accepting payment by any means, electronic or otherwise, into an account owned or controlled by the representative or any firm or other entity with whom the representative is associated) issued by the government in respect of a federal tax liability.
- Representation with respect to ACA payments must be specifically authorized. Historically, taxpayers who wished to authorize a representative to represent them with respect to penalties that are not related to a return had to specifically list “Civil Penalties” as a matter for which they were granting authority. On the new form, “Code Sec. 5000A Shared Responsibility Payment” (i.e., the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate payment) and “Code Sec. 4980H Shared Responsibility Payment” have been added to the list of those areas of the law about which taxpayers must specifically give their authority.
- Representatives able to get a list of their powers of attorney. The instructions to Form 2848 provide that representatives may receive a list of their powers of attorney recorded on IRS's Central Authorization File (CAF) by submitting a FOIA request. The instructions also describe how such a request is made.
- New fax numbers. Form 2848 can be faxed to IRS. The form instructions reflect new fax numbers.
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