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Search irs Publication 947 - Main Content Table of Contents Practice Before the IRSWhat Is Practice Before the IRS? Who Can Practice Before the IRS? Who Cannot Practice Before the IRS? How Does an Individual Become Enrolled? What Are the Rules of Practice? Authorizing a RepresentativeWhat Is a Power of Attorney? When Is a Power of Attorney Required? When Is a Power of Attorney Not Required? How Do I Fill Out Form 2848? What Happens to the Power of Attorney When Filed? How To Get Tax HelpLow Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs). Search irs Practice Before the IRS The Office of Professional Responsibility and the Return Preparer Office generally are responsible for administering and enforcing the regulations governing practice before the IRS. Search irs The Office of Professional Responsibility generally has responsibility for matters related to practitioner conduct and exclusive responsibility for discipline, including disciplinary proceedings and sanctions. Search irs The Return Preparer Office is responsible for matters related to the authority to practice, including acting on applications for enrollment and administering competency testing and continuing education. Search irs What Is Practice Before the IRS? Practice before the IRS covers all matters relating to any of the following. Search irs Communicating with the IRS for a taxpayer regarding the taxpayer's rights, privileges, or liabilities under laws and regulations administered by the IRS. Search irs Representing a taxpayer at conferences, hearings, or meetings with the IRS. Search irs Preparing and filing documents, including tax returns, with the IRS for a taxpayer. Search irs Providing a client with written advice which has a potential for tax avoidance or evasion. Search irs Furnishing information at the request of the IRS or appearing as a witness for the taxpayer is not practice before the IRS. Search irs Who Can Practice Before the IRS? The following individuals can practice before the IRS. Search irs However, any individual who is recognized to practice (a recognized representative) must be designated as the taxpayer's representative and file a written declaration with the IRS stating that he or she is authorized and qualified to represent a particular taxpayer. Search irs Form 2848 can be used for this purpose. Search irs Attorneys. Search irs   Any attorney who is not currently under suspension or disbarment from practice before the IRS and who is a member in good standing of the bar of the highest court of any state, possession, territory, commonwealth, or the District of Columbia may practice before the IRS. Search irs Certified public accountants (CPAs). Search irs   Any CPA who is not currently under suspension or disbarment from practice before the IRS and who is duly qualified to practice as a CPA in any state, possession, territory, commonwealth, or the District of Columbia may practice before the IRS. Search irs Enrolled agents. Search irs   Any enrolled agent in active status who is not currently under suspension or disbarment from practice before the IRS may practice before the IRS. Search irs Enrolled retirement plan agents. Search irs   Any enrolled retirement plan agent in active status who is not currently under suspension or disbarment from practice before the IRS may practice before the IRS. Search irs The practice of enrolled retirement plan agents is limited to certain Internal Revenue Code sections that relate to their area of expertise, principally those sections governing employee retirement plans. Search irs Enrolled actuaries. Search irs   Any individual who is enrolled as an actuary by the Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries who is not currently under suspension or disbarment from practice before the IRS may practice before the IRS. Search irs The practice of enrolled actuaries is limited to certain Internal Revenue Code sections that relate to their area of expertise, principally those sections governing employee retirement plans. Search irs Student. Search irs    Under certain circumstances, a student who is supervised by a practitioner may request permission to represent another person before the IRS. Search irs For more information, see Authorization for special appearances, later. Search irs Registered tax return preparers and unenrolled return preparers. Search irs   A registered tax return preparer is an individual who has passed an IRS competency test and is authorized to prepare and sign tax returns as the preparer. Search irs An unenrolled return preparer is an individual other than an attorney, CPA, enrolled agent, enrolled retirement plan agent, or enrolled actuary who prepares and signs a taxpayer's return as the preparer, or who prepares a return but is not required (by the instructions to the return or regulations) to sign the return. Search irs   Registered tax return preparers and unenrolled return preparers may only represent taxpayers before revenue agents, customer service representatives, or similar officers and employees of the Internal Revenue Service (including the Taxpayer Advocate Service) during an examination of the taxable year or period covered by the tax return they prepared and signed. Search irs Registered tax return preparers and unenrolled return preparers cannot represent taxpayers, regardless of the circumstances requiring representation, before appeals officers, revenue officers, counsel or similar officers or employees of the Internal Revenue Service or the Department of Treasury. Search irs Registered tax return preparers and unenrolled return preparers cannot execute closing agreements, extend the statutory period for tax assessments or collection of tax, execute waivers, execute claims for refund, or sign any document on behalf of a taxpayer. Search irs   If the unenrolled return preparer does not meet the requirements for limited representation, you may file Form 8821 to allow the preparer to inspect your tax information and receive copies of notices sent to you by the IRS. Search irs See Form 8821. Search irs Practice denied. Search irs   Any individual engaged in limited practice before the IRS who is involved in disreputable conduct is subject to disciplinary action. Search irs Disreputable conduct includes, but is not limited to, the list of items under Incompetence and Disreputable Conduct shown later under What Are the Rules of Practice. Search irs Other individuals who may serve as representatives. Search irs   Because of their special relationship with a taxpayer, the following individuals can represent the specified taxpayers before the IRS, provided they present satisfactory identification and, except in the case of an individual described in (1) below, proof of authority to represent the taxpayer. Search irs An individual. Search irs An individual can represent himself or herself before the IRS and does not have to file a written declaration of qualification and authority. Search irs A family member. Search irs An individual can represent members of his or her immediate family. Search irs Immediate family includes a spouse, child, parent, brother, or sister of the individual. Search irs An officer. Search irs A bona fide officer of a corporation (including a parent, subsidiary, or other affiliated corporation), association, or organized group can represent the corporation, association, or organized group. Search irs An officer of a governmental unit, agency, or authority, in the course of his or her official duties, can represent the organization before the IRS. Search irs A partner. Search irs A general partner may represent the partnership before the IRS. Search irs An employee. Search irs A regular full-time employee can represent his or her employer. Search irs An employer can be, but is not limited to, an individual, partnership, corporation (including a parent, subsidiary, or other affiliated corporation), association, trust, receivership, guardianship, estate, organized group, governmental unit, agency, or authority. Search irs A fiduciary. Search irs A fiduciary (trustee, executor, personal representative, administrator, receiver, or guardian) stands in the position of a taxpayer and acts as the taxpayer, not as a representative. Search irs See Fiduciary under When Is a Power of Attorney Not Required, later. Search irs Representation Outside the United States Any individual may represent an individual or entity, who is outside the United States, before personnel of the IRS when such representation occurs outside the United States. Search irs See section 10. Search irs 7(c)(1)(vii) of Circular 230. Search irs Authorization for Special Appearances The Commissioner of Internal Revenue, or delegate, can authorize an individual who is not otherwise eligible to practice before the IRS to represent another person for a particular matter. Search irs The prospective representative must request this authorization in writing from the Office of Professional Responsibility. Search irs However, it is granted only when extremely compelling circumstances exist. Search irs If granted, the Commissioner, or delegate, will issue a letter that details the conditions related to the appearance and the particular tax matter for which the authorization is granted. Search irs The authorization letter should not be confused with a letter from an IRS center advising an individual that he or she has been assigned a Centralized Authorization File (CAF) number. Search irs The issuance of a CAF number does not indicate that an individual is either recognized or authorized to practice before the IRS. Search irs It merely confirms that a centralized file for authorizations has been established for the individual under that number. Search irs Students in LITCs and the STCP. Search irs   A student who works in a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) or Student Tax Clinic Program (STCP) who is supervised by a practitioner may request permission to represent another person before the IRS. Search irs Authorization requests must be made to the Office of Professional Responsibility. Search irs If granted, a letter authorizing the student's special appearance and detailing any conditions related to the appearance will be issued. Search irs Students receiving an authorization letter generally can represent taxpayers before any IRS function or office subject to any conditions in the authorization letter. Search irs If you intend to have a student represent you, review the authorization letter and ask your student, your student's supervisor, or the Office of Professional Responsibility if you have questions about the terms of the authorization. Search irs Who Cannot Practice Before the IRS? In general, individuals who are not eligible or who have lost the privilege as a result of certain actions cannot practice before the IRS. Search irs If an individual loses eligibility to practice, the IRS will not recognize a power of attorney that names the individual as a representative. Search irs Corporations, associations, partnerships, and other persons that are not individuals. Search irs   These organizations (or persons) are not eligible to practice before the IRS. Search irs Loss of Eligibility Generally, individuals lose their eligibility to practice before the IRS in the following ways. Search irs Not meeting the requirements for renewal of enrollment (such as continuing professional education). Search irs Requesting to be placed in inactive retirement status. Search irs Being suspended or disbarred by the Office of Professional Responsibility for violating the regulations governing practice before the IRS. Search irs Failure to meet requirements. Search irs   Individuals who fail to comply with the requirements for eligibility for renewal of enrollment will be notified by the IRS. Search irs The notice will explain the reason for noncompliance and provide the individual with an opportunity to furnish information for reconsideration. Search irs The individual has 60 days from the date of the notice to respond. Search irs Inactive roster. Search irs   An individual will be placed on the roster of inactive individuals for a period of three years, if he or she: Fails to respond timely to the notice of noncompliance with the renewal requirements, Fails to file timely the application for renewal, or Does not satisfy the requirements of eligibility for renewal. Search irs The individual must file an application for renewal and satisfy all requirements for renewal after being placed in inactive status. Search irs Otherwise, at the conclusion of the next renewal cycle, he or she will be removed from the roster and the enrollment or registration terminated. Search irs Inactive retirement status. Search irs   Individuals who request to be placed in an inactive retirement status will be ineligible to practice before the IRS. Search irs They must continue to adhere to all renewal requirements. Search irs They can be reinstated to an active enrollment status by filing an application for renewal and providing evidence that they have completed the required continuing professional education hours for the enrollment cycle or registration year. Search irs Suspension and disbarment. Search irs   Individuals authorized to practice before the IRS are subject to disciplinary proceedings and may be suspended or disbarred for violating any regulation governing practice before the IRS. Search irs This includes engaging in acts of disreputable conduct. Search irs For more information, see Incompetence and Disreputable Conduct under What are the Rules of Practice, later. Search irs   Practitioners who are suspended in a disciplinary proceeding are not allowed to practice before the IRS during the period of suspension. Search irs See What Is Practice Before the IRS, earlier. Search irs   Practitioners who are disbarred in a disciplinary proceeding are not allowed to practice before the IRS. Search irs However, a practitioner can seek reinstatement from the Office of Professional Responsibility five years after disbarment. Search irs   If the practitioner seeks reinstatement, he or she may not practice before the IRS until the Office of Professional Responsibility authorizes reinstatement. Search irs The Office of Professional Responsibility may reinstate the practitioner if it is determined that: The practitioner's future conduct is not likely to be in violation of the regulations, and Granting the reinstatement would not be contrary to the public interest. Search irs How Does an Individual Become Enrolled? The Return Preparer Office can grant enrollment to practice before the IRS to an applicant who demonstrates special competence in tax matters by passing a written examination administered by the IRS. Search irs Enrollment also can be granted to an applicant who qualifies because of past service and technical experience in the IRS. Search irs In either case, certain application forms, discussed next, must be filed. Search irs Additionally, an applicant must not have engaged in any conduct that would justify suspension or disbarment from practice before the IRS. Search irs See Incompetence and Disreputable Conduct, later. Search irs Form 2587. Search irs   Applicants can apply to take the special enrollment examination by filing Form 2587, Application for Special Enrollment Examination. Search irs Form 2587 can be filed online, by mail, or by fax. Search irs For more information, see instructions and fees listed on the form. Search irs To get Form 2587, see How To Get Tax Help, later. Search irs Form 23 and Form 23-EP. Search irs   Individuals who have passed the examination or are applying on the basis of past service and technical experience with the IRS can apply for enrollment by filing Form 23, Application for Enrollment to Practice Before the Internal Revenue Service, or Form 23-EP, Application for Enrollment to Practice Before the Internal Revenue Service as an Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent. Search irs The application must include a check or money order in the amount of the fee shown on Form 23 or Form 23-EP. Search irs Alternatively, payment may be made electronically pursuant to instructions on the forms. Search irs To get Form 23 or Form 23-EP, see How To Get Tax Help, later. Search irs Form 5434. Search irs   An individual may apply as an enrolled actuary on the basis of past employment with the IRS and technical experience by filing Form 5434, Application for Enrollment, with the Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries. Search irs The application must include a check or money order in the amount of the fee shown on Form 5434. Search irs To get Form 5434, see How To Get Tax Help, later. Search irs Period of enrollment. Search irs   An enrollment card will be issued to each individual whose enrollment application is approved. Search irs The individual is enrolled until the expiration date shown on the enrollment card or certificate. Search irs To continue practicing beyond the expiration date, the individual must request renewal of the enrollment by filing Form 8554, Application for Renewal of Enrollment to Practice Before the Internal Revenue Service, or Form 8554-EP, Application for Renewal of Enrollment to Practice Before the Internal Revenue Service as an Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent (ERPA). Search irs What Are the Rules of Practice? The rules governing practice before the IRS are published in the Code of Federal Regulations at 31 C. Search irs F. Search irs R. Search irs part 10 and reprinted in Treasury Department Circular No. Search irs 230 (Circular 230). Search irs An attorney, CPA, enrolled agent, enrolled retirement plan agent, registered tax return preparer, or enrolled actuary authorized to practice before the IRS (referred to hereafter as a practitioner) has the duty to perform certain acts and is restricted from performing other acts. Search irs In addition, a practitioner cannot engage in disreputable conduct (discussed later). Search irs Any practitioner who does not comply with the rules of practice or engages in disreputable conduct is subject to disciplinary action. Search irs Also, unenrolled preparers must comply with the rules of practice and conduct to exercise the privilege of limited practice before the IRS. Search irs See Publication 470 for a discussion of the special rules for limited practice by unenrolled preparers. Search irs Duties Practitioners must promptly submit records or information requested by officers or employees of the IRS, except when the practitioner believes on reasonable belief and good faith that the information is privileged. Search irs Communications with respect to tax advice between a federally authorized tax practitioner and a taxpayer generally are confidential to the same extent that communication would be privileged if it were between a taxpayer and an attorney if the advice relates to: Noncriminal tax matters before the IRS, or Noncriminal tax proceedings brought in federal court by or against the United States. Search irs Communications regarding corporate tax shelters. Search irs   This protection of tax advice communications does not apply to any written communications between a federally authorized tax practitioner and any person, including a director, shareholder, officer, employee, agent, or representative of a corporation if the communication involves the promotion of the direct or indirect participation of the corporation in any tax shelter. Search irs Duty to advise. Search irs   A practitioner who knows that his or her client has not complied with the revenue laws or has made an error or omission in any return, document, affidavit, or other required paper, has the responsibility to advise the client promptly of the noncompliance, error, or omission, and the consequences of the noncompliance, error, or omission. Search irs Due diligence. Search irs   A practitioner must exercise due diligence when performing the following duties. Search irs Preparing or assisting in the preparing, approving, and filing of returns, documents, affidavits, and other papers relating to IRS matters. Search irs Determining the correctness of oral or written representations made by him or her to the Department of the Treasury. Search irs Determining the correctness of oral or written representations made by him or her to clients with reference to any matter administered by the IRS. Search irs Restrictions Practitioners are restricted from engaging in certain practices. Search irs The following paragraphs discuss some of these restricted practices. Search irs Delays. Search irs   A practitioner must not unreasonably delay the prompt disposition of any matter before the IRS. Search irs Assistance from disbarred or suspended persons and former IRS employees. Search irs   A practitioner must not knowingly, directly or indirectly, do the following. Search irs Accept assistance from, or assist, any person who is under disbarment or suspension from practice before the IRS if the assistance relates to matters considered practice before the IRS. Search irs Accept assistance from any former government employee where provisions of Circular 230 or any federal law would be violated. Search irs Performance as a notary. Search irs   A practitioner who is a notary public and is employed as counsel, attorney, or agent in a matter before the IRS, or has a material interest in the matter, cannot engage in any notary activities related to that matter. Search irs Negotiations of taxpayer refund checks. Search irs   Practitioners must not endorse or otherwise negotiate (cash) any refund check (including directing or accepting payment by any means, electronic or otherwise, in an account owned or controlled by the practitioner or any firm or other entity with whom the practitioner is associated) issued to the taxpayer. Search irs Incompetence and Disreputable Conduct Any practitioner or unenrolled return preparer may be disbarred or suspended from practice before the IRS, or censured, for incompetence or disreputable conduct. Search irs The following list contains examples of conduct that is considered disreputable. Search irs Being convicted of any criminal offense under the revenue laws or of any offense involving dishonesty or breach of trust. Search irs Knowingly giving false or misleading information in connection with federal tax matters, or participating in such activity. Search irs Soliciting employment by prohibited means as discussed in section 10. Search irs 30 of Circular 230. Search irs Willfully failing to file a federal tax return, evading or attempting to evade any federal tax or payment, or participating in such actions. Search irs Misappropriating, or failing to properly and promptly remit, funds received from clients for payment of taxes or other obligations due the United States. Search irs Directly or indirectly attempting to influence the official action of IRS employees by the use of threats, false accusations, duress, or coercion, or by offering gifts, favors, or any special inducements. Search irs Being disbarred or suspended from practice as an attorney, CPA, public accountant, or actuary, by the District of Columbia or any state, possession, territory, commonwealth, or any federal court, or any federal agency, body, or board. Search irs Knowingly aiding and abetting another person to practice before the IRS during a period of suspension, disbarment, or ineligibility of that other person. Search irs Using abusive language, making false accusations and statements knowing them to be false, circulating or publishing malicious or libelous matter, or engaging in any contemptuous conduct in connection with practice before the IRS. Search irs Giving a false opinion knowingly, recklessly, or through gross incompetence; or following a pattern of providing incompetent opinions in questions arising under the federal tax laws. Search irs Censure, Disbarments, and Suspensions The Office of Professional Responsibility may censure or institute proceedings to censure, suspend or disbar any attorney, CPA, or enrolled agent who has violated Circular 230. Search irs A practitioner will be given the opportunity to demonstrate compliance with the rules before any disciplinary action is taken. Search irs Authorizing a Representative You may either represent yourself, or you may authorize an individual to represent you before the IRS. Search irs If you chose to have someone represent you, your representative must be a person eligible to practice before the IRS. Search irs See Who Can Practice Before the IRS, earlier. Search irs What Is a Power of Attorney? A power of attorney is your written authorization for an individual to act on your behalf. Search irs If the authorization is not limited, the individual generally can perform all acts that you can perform. Search irs The authority granted to a registered tax return preparer or an unenrolled preparer is limited. Search irs For information on the limits regarding registered tax return preparers, see Circular 230 §10. Search irs 3(f). Search irs For information on the limits regarding unenrolled preparers, see Publication 470. Search irs Acts performed. Search irs   Any representative, other than a registered tax return preparer or an unenrolled return preparer, can usually perform the following acts. Search irs Represent you before any office of the IRS. Search irs Sign an offer or a waiver of restriction on assessment or collection of a tax deficiency, or a waiver of notice of disallowance of claim for credit or refund. Search irs Sign a consent to extend the statutory time period for assessment or collection of a tax. Search irs Sign a closing agreement. Search irs Signing your return. Search irs   The representative named under a power of attorney is not permitted to sign your income tax return unless: The signature is permitted under the Internal Revenue Code and the related regulations (see Regulations section 1. Search irs 6012-1(a)(5)). Search irs You specifically authorize this in your power of attorney. Search irs For example, the regulation permits a representative to sign your return if you are unable to sign the return due to: Disease or injury. Search irs Continuous absence from the United States (including Puerto Rico) for a period of at least 60 days prior to the date required by law for filing the return. Search irs Other good cause if specific permission is requested of and granted by the IRS. Search irs When a return is signed by a representative, it must be accompanied by a power of attorney (or copy) authorizing the representative to sign the return. Search irs For more information, see the Form 2848 instructions. Search irs Limitation on substitution or delegation. Search irs   A recognized representative can substitute or delegate authority under the power of attorney to another recognized representative only if the act is specifically authorized by you on the power of attorney. Search irs   After a substitution has been made, only the newly recognized representative will be recognized as the taxpayer's representative. Search irs If a delegation of power has been made, both the original and the delegated representative will be recognized by the IRS to represent you. Search irs Disclosure of returns to a third party. Search irs   Your representative cannot execute consents that will allow the IRS to disclose tax return or return information to a third party unless you specifically delegate this authority to your representative on line 5 of Form 2848. Search irs Incapacity or incompetency. Search irs   A power of attorney is generally terminated if you become incapacitated or incompetent. Search irs   The power of attorney can continue, however, in the case of your incapacity or incompetency if you authorize this on line 5 “Other” of the Form 2848 and if your non-IRS durable power of attorney meets all the requirements for acceptance by the IRS. Search irs See Non-IRS powers of attorney, later. Search irs When Is a Power of Attorney Required? Submit a power of attorney when you want to authorize an individual to represent you before the IRS, whether or not the representative performs any of the other acts cited earlier under What Is a Power of Attorney. Search irs A power of attorney is most often required when you want to authorize another individual to perform at least one of the following acts on your behalf. Search irs Represent you at a meeting with the IRS. Search irs Prepare and file a written response to the IRS. Search irs Form Required Use Form 2848 to appoint a recognized representative to act on your behalf before the IRS. Search irs Individuals recognized to practice before the IRS are listed under Part II, Declaration of Representative, of Form 2848. Search irs Your representative must complete that part of the form. Search irs Non-IRS powers of attorney. Search irs   The IRS will accept a non-IRS power of attorney, but a completed Form 2848 must be attached in order for the power of attorney to be entered on the Centralized Authorization File (CAF) system. Search irs For more information, see Processing a non-IRS power of attorney, later. Search irs   If you want to use a power of attorney document other than Form 2848, it must contain the following information. Search irs Your name and mailing address. Search irs Your social security number and/or employer identification number. Search irs Your employee plan number, if applicable. Search irs The name and mailing address of your representative(s). Search irs The types of tax involved. Search irs The federal tax form number. Search irs The specific year(s) or period(s) involved. Search irs For estate tax matters, the decedent's date of death. Search irs A clear expression of your intention concerning the scope of authority granted to your representative(s). Search irs Your signature and date. Search irs You also must attach to the non-IRS power of attorney a signed and dated statement made by your representative. Search irs This statement, which is referred to as the Declaration of Representative, is contained in Part II of Form 2848. Search irs The statement should read: I am not currently under suspension or disbarment from practice before the Internal Revenue Service or other practice of my profession by any other authority, I am aware of the regulations contained in Circular 230, I am authorized to represent the taxpayer(s) identified in the power of attorney, and I am an individual described in 26 CFR 601. Search irs 502(b). Search irs Required information missing. Search irs   The IRS will not accept your non-IRS power of attorney if it does not contain all the information listed above. Search irs You can sign and submit a completed Form 2848 or a new non-IRS power of attorney that contains all the information. Search irs If you cannot sign an acceptable replacement document, your attorney-in-fact may be able to perfect (make acceptable to the IRS) your non-IRS power of attorney by using the procedure described next. Search irs Procedure for perfecting a non-IRS power of attorney. Search irs   Under the following conditions, the attorney-in-fact named in your non-IRS power of attorney can sign a Form 2848 on your behalf. Search irs The original non-IRS power of attorney grants authority to handle federal tax matters (for example, general authority to perform any acts). Search irs The attorney-in-fact attaches a statement (signed under penalty of perjury) to the Form 2848 stating that the original non-IRS power of attorney is valid under the laws of the governing jurisdiction. Search irs Example. Search irs John Elm, a taxpayer, signs a non-IRS durable power of attorney that names his neighbor and CPA, Ed Larch, as his attorney-in-fact. Search irs The power of attorney grants Ed the authority to perform any and all acts on John's behalf. Search irs However, it does not list specific tax-related information such as types of tax or tax form numbers. Search irs Shortly after John signs the power of attorney, he is declared incompetent. Search irs Later, a federal tax matter arises concerning a prior year return filed by John. Search irs Ed attempts to represent John before the IRS but is rejected because the durable power of attorney does not contain required information. Search irs If Ed attaches a statement (signed under the penalty of perjury) that the durable power of attorney is valid under the laws of the governing jurisdiction, he can sign a completed Form 2848 and submit it on John's behalf. Search irs If Ed can practice before the IRS (see Who Can Practice Before the IRS, earlier), he can name himself as representative on Form 2848. Search irs Otherwise, he must name another individual who can practice before the IRS. Search irs Processing a non-IRS power of attorney. Search irs   The IRS has a centralized computer database system called the CAF system. Search irs This system contains information on the authority of taxpayer representatives. Search irs Generally, when you submit a power of attorney document to the IRS, it is processed for inclusion on the CAF system. Search irs Entry of your power of attorney on the CAF system enables IRS personnel, who do not have a copy of your power of attorney, to verify the authority of your representative by accessing the CAF. Search irs It also enables the IRS to automatically send copies of notices and other IRS communications to your representative if you specify that your representative should receive those communications. Search irs   You can have your non-IRS power of attorney entered on the CAF system by attaching it to a completed Form 2848 and submitting it to the IRS. Search irs Your signature is not required; however, your attorney-in-fact must sign the Declaration of Representative (see Part II of Form 2848). Search irs Preparation of Form — Helpful Hints The preparation of Form 2848 is illustrated by an example, later under How Do I Fill Out Form 2848. Search irs However, the following will also assist you in preparing the form. Search irs Line-by-line hints. Search irs   The following hints are summaries of some of the line-by-line instructions for Form 2848. Search irs Line 1—Taxpayer information. Search irs   If a joint return is involved, the husband and wife each file a separate Form 2848 if they both want to be represented. Search irs If only one spouse wants to be represented in the matter, that spouse files a Form 2848. Search irs Line 2—Representative(s). Search irs   Only individuals may be named as representatives. Search irs If your representative has not been assigned a CAF number, enter “None” on that line and the IRS will issue one to your representative. Search irs If the representative's address or phone number has changed since the CAF number was issued, you should check the appropriate box. Search irs Enter your representative's fax number if available. Search irs   If you want to name more than three representatives, attach additional Form(s) 2848. Search irs The IRS can send copies of notices and communications to two of your representatives. Search irs You must, however, check the boxes on line 2 of the Form 2848 if you want the IRS to routinely send copies of notices and communications to your representatives. Search irs If you do not check the boxes, your representatives will not routinely receive copies of notices and communications. Search irs Line 3—Tax matters. Search irs   You may list any tax years or periods that have already ended as of the date you sign the power of attorney. Search irs However, you may include on a power of attorney only future tax periods that end no later than 3 years after the date the power of attorney is received by the IRS. Search irs The 3 future periods are determined starting after December 31 of the year the power of attorney is received by the IRS. Search irs However, avoid general references such as “all years” or “all taxes. Search irs ” Any Form 2848 with general references will be returned. Search irs Line 4—Specific use not recorded on Centralized Authorization File (CAF). Search irs   Certain matters cannot be recorded on the CAF system. Search irs Examples of such matters include, but are not limited to, the following. Search irs Requests for a private letter ruling or technical advice. Search irs Applications for an employer identification number (EIN). Search irs Claims filed on Form 843, Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement. Search irs Corporate dissolutions. Search irs Requests for change of accounting method. Search irs Requests for change of accounting period. Search irs Applications for recognition of exemption under sections 501(c)(3), 501(a), or 521 (Forms 1023, 1034, or 1028). Search irs Request for a determination of the qualified status of an employee benefit plan (Forms 5300, 5307, or 5310). Search irs Application for Award for Original Information under section 7623. Search irs Voluntary submissions under the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS). Search irs Freedom of Information Act requests. Search irs If the tax matter described on line 3 of Form 2848 concerns one of these matters specifically, check the box on line 4. Search irs If this box is checked, the representative should mail or fax the power of attorney to the IRS office handling the matter. Search irs Otherwise, the representative should bring a copy of the power of attorney to each meeting with the IRS. Search irs Where To File a Power of Attorney Generally, you can mail or fax a paper Form 2848 directly to the IRS. Search irs To determine where you should file Form 2848, see Where To File in the instructions for Form 2848. Search irs If Form 2848 is for a specific use, mail or fax it to the office handling that matter. Search irs For more information on specific use, see the Instructions for Form 2848, line 4. Search irs FAX copies. Search irs   The IRS will accept a copy of a power of attorney that is submitted by facsimile transmission (fax). Search irs If you choose to file a power of attorney by fax, be sure the appropriate IRS office is equipped to accept this type of transmission. Search irs Your representative may be able to file Form 2848 electronically via the IRS website. Search irs For more information, your representative can go to www. Search irs irs. Search irs gov and under the Tax Professionals tab, click on e-services–Online Tools for Tax Professionals. Search irs If you complete Form 2848 for electronic signature authorization, do not file Form 2848 with the IRS. Search irs Instead, give it to your representative, who will retain the document. Search irs Updating a power of attorney. Search irs   Submit any update or modification to an existing power of attorney in writing. Search irs Your signature (or the signature of the individual(s) authorized to sign on your behalf) is required. Search irs Do this by sending the updated Form 2848 or non-IRS power of attorney to the IRS office(s) where you previously sent the original(s), including the center where the related return was, or will be filed. Search irs   A recognized representative may substitute or delegate authority if you specifically authorize your representative to substitute or delegate representation in the original power of attorney. Search irs To make a substitution or delegation, the representative must file the following items with the IRS office(s) where the power of attorney was filed. Search irs A written notice of substitution or delegation signed by the recognized representative. Search irs A written declaration of representative made by the new representative. Search irs A copy of the power of attorney that specifically authorizes the substitution or delegation. Search irs Retention/Revocation of Prior Power(s) of Attorney A newly filed power of attorney concerning the same matter will revoke a previously filed power of attorney. Search irs However, the new power of attorney will not revoke the prior power of attorney if it specifically states it does not revoke such prior power of attorney and either of the following are attached to the new power of attorney. Search irs A copy of the unrevoked prior power of attorney, or A statement signed by the taxpayer listing the name and address of each representative authorized under the prior unrevoked power of attorney. Search irs Note. Search irs The filing of Form 2848 will not revoke any  Form 8821 that is in effect. Search irs Revocation of Power of Attorney/Withdrawal of Representative If you want to revoke an existing power of attorney and do not want to name a new representative, or if a representative wants to withdraw from representation, mail or fax a copy of the previously executed power of attorney to the IRS, or if the power of attorney is for a specific matter, to the IRS office handling the matter. Search irs If the taxpayer is revoking the power of attorney, the taxpayer must write “REVOKE” across the top of the first page with a current signature and date below this annotation. Search irs If the representative is withdrawing from the representation, the representative must write “WITHDRAW” across the top of the first page with a current signature and date below this annotation. Search irs If you do not have a copy of the power of attorney you want to revoke or withdraw, send a statement to the IRS. Search irs The statement of revocation or withdrawal must indicate that the authority of the power of attorney is revoked or withdrawn, list the matters and periods, and must be signed and dated by the taxpayer or representative as applicable. Search irs If the taxpayer is revoking, list the name and address of each recognized representative whose authority is revoked. Search irs When the taxpayer is completely revoking authority, the form should state “remove all years/periods” instead of listing the specific tax matter, years, or periods. Search irs If the representative is withdrawing, list the name, TIN, and address (if known) of the taxpayer. Search irs To revoke a specific use power of attorney, send the power of attorney or statement of revocation to the IRS office handling your case, using the above instructions. Search irs A power of attorney held by a student will be recorded on the CAF system for 130 days from the receipt date. Search irs If you are authorizing a student to represent you after that time, you will need to submit a current and valid Form 2848. Search irs When Is a Power of Attorney Not Required? A power of attorney is not required when the third party is not dealing with the IRS as your representative. Search irs The following situations do not require a power of attorney. Search irs Providing information to the IRS. Search irs Authorizing the disclosure of tax return information through Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization, or other written or oral disclosure consent. Search irs Allowing the IRS to discuss return information with a third party via the checkbox provided on a tax return or other document. Search irs Allowing a tax matters partner or person (TMP) to perform acts for the partnership. Search irs Allowing the IRS to discuss return information with a fiduciary. Search irs How Do I Fill Out Form 2848? The following example illustrates how to complete Form 2848. Search irs The two completed forms for this example are shown on the next pages. Search irs Example. Search irs Stan and Mary Doe have been notified that their joint tax returns (Forms 1040) for 2009, 2010, and 2011 are being examined. Search irs They have decided to appoint Jim Smith, an enrolled agent, to represent them in this matter and any future matters concerning these returns. Search irs Jim, who has prepared returns at the same location for years, already has a Centralized Authorization File (CAF) number assigned to him. Search irs Mary does not want Jim to sign any agreements on her behalf, but Stan is willing to have Jim do so. Search irs They want copies of all notices and written communications sent to Jim. Search irs This is the first time Stan and Mary have given power of attorney to anyone. Search irs They should each complete a Form 2848 as follows. Search irs Line 1—Taxpayer information. Search irs   Stan and Mary must each file a separate Form 2848. Search irs On his separate Form 2848, Stan enters his name, street address, and social security number in the spaces provided. Search irs Mary does likewise on her separate Form 2848. Search irs Line 2—Representative(s). Search irs   On their separate Forms 2848, Stan and Mary each enters the name and current address of their chosen representative, Jim Smith. Search irs Both Stan and Mary want Jim Smith to receive notices and communications concerning the matters identified in line 3, so on their separate Forms 2848, Stan and Mary each checks the box in the first column of line 2. Search irs They also enter Mr. Search irs Smith's CAF number, his telephone number, and his fax number. Search irs Mr. Search irs Smith's address, telephone number, and fax number have not changed since the IRS issued his CAF number, so Stan and Mary do not check the boxes in the second column. Search irs Line 3—Tax Matters. Search irs   On their separate Forms 2848, Stan and Mary each enters “income” for the type of tax, “1040” for the form number, and “2009, 2010, and 2011” for the tax years. Search irs Line 4—Specific use not recorded on Centralized Authorization File (CAF). Search irs   On their separate Forms 2848, Stan and Mary make no entry on this line because they do not want to restrict the use of their powers of attorney to a specific use that is not recorded on the CAF. Search irs See Preparation of Form — Helpful Hints, earlier. Search irs Line 5—Acts authorized. Search irs   Mary wants to sign any agreement that reflects changes to her and Stan's joint 2009, 2010, and 2011 income tax liability, so she writes “Taxpayer must sign any agreement form” on line 5 of her Form 2848. Search irs Stan does not wish to restrict the authority of Jim Smith in this regard, so he leaves line 5 of his Form 2848 blank. Search irs If either Mary or Stan had chosen, they could have listed other restrictions on line 5 of their separate Forms 2848. Search irs Line 6—Retention/revocation of prior power(s) of attorney. Search irs   Stan and Mary are each filing their first powers of attorney, so they make no entry on this line. Search irs However, if they had filed prior powers of attorney, the filing of this current power would revoke any earlier ones for the same tax matter(s) unless they checked the box on line 6 and attached a copy of the prior power of attorney that they wanted to remain in effect. Search irs   If Mary later decides that she can handle the examination on her own, she can revoke her power of attorney even though Stan does not revoke his power of attorney. Search irs (See Revocation of Power of Attorney/Withdrawal of Representative, earlier, for the special rules that apply. Search irs ) Line 7—Signature of taxpayer. Search irs   Stan and Mary each signs and dates his or her Form 2848. Search irs If a taxpayer does not sign, the IRS cannot accept the form. Search irs Part II—Declaration of Representative. Search irs   Jim Smith must complete this part of Form 2848. Search irs If he does not sign this part, the IRS cannot accept the form. Search irs What Happens to the Power of Attorney When Filed? A power of attorney will be recognized after it is received, reviewed, and determined by the IRS to contain the required information. Search irs However, until a power of attorney is entered on the CAF system, IRS personnel may be unaware of the authority of the person you have named to represent you. Search irs Therefore, during this interim period, IRS personnel may request that you or your representative bring a copy to any meeting with the IRS. Search irs This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. Search irs Please click the link to view the image. Search irs Filled-in Form 2848 - Page 1 This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. Search irs Please click the link to view the image. Search irs Filled-in Form 2848 - Page 2 This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. Search irs Please click the link to view the image. Search irs Filled-in Form 2848 - Page 1 This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. Search irs Please click the link to view the image. Search irs Filled-in Form 2848 - Page 2 Processing and Handling How the power of attorney is processed and handled depends on whether it is a complete or incomplete document. Search irs Incomplete document. Search irs   If Form 2848 is incomplete, the IRS will attempt to secure the missing information either by writing or telephoning you or your representative. Search irs For example, if your signature or signature date is missing, the IRS will contact you. Search irs If information concerning your representative is missing and information sufficient to make a contact (such as an address and/or a telephone number) is on the document, the IRS will try to contact your representative. Search irs   In either case, the power of attorney is not considered valid until all required information is entered on the document. Search irs The individual(s) named as representative(s) will not be recognized to practice before the IRS, on your behalf, until the document is complete and accepted by the IRS. Search irs Complete document. Search irs   If the power of attorney is complete and valid, the IRS will take action to recognize the representative. Search irs In most instances, this includes processing the document on the CAF system. Search irs Recording the data on the CAF system enables the IRS to direct copies of mailings to authorized representatives and to readily recognize the scope of authority granted. Search irs Documents not processed on CAF. Search irs   Specific-use powers of attorney are not processed on the CAF system (see Preparation of Form – Helpful Hints, earlier). Search irs For example, a power of attorney that is a one-time or specific-issue grant of authority is not processed on the CAF system. Search irs These documents remain with the related case files. Search irs In this situation, you should check the box on line 4 of Form 2848. Search irs In these situations, the representative should bring a copy of the power of attorney to each meeting with the IRS. Search irs Dealing With the Representative After a valid power of attorney is filed, the IRS will recognize your representative. Search irs However, if it appears the representative is responsible for unreasonably delaying or hindering the prompt disposition of an IRS matter by failing to furnish, after repeated requests, nonprivileged information, the IRS can contact you directly. Search irs For example, in most instances in which a power of attorney is recognized, the IRS will contact the representative to set up appointments and to provide lists of required items. Search irs However, if the representative is unavailable, does not respond to repeated requests, and does not provide required items (other than items considered privileged), the IRS can bypass your representative and contact you directly. Search irs If a representative engages in conduct described above, the matter can be referred to the Office of Professional Responsibility for consideration of possible disciplinary action. Search irs Notices and other correspondence. Search irs   If you have a recognized representative, you and the representative will routinely receive notices and other correspondence from the IRS (either the original or a copy) if you checked the box in the left column of line 2 of Form 2848. Search irs If the power of attorney is processed on the CAF system, the IRS will send your representative(s) a duplicate of all computer-generated correspondence that is sent to you. Search irs This includes notices and letters produced either at the Martinsburg Computing Center, or other IRS centers. Search irs The IRS employee handling the case is responsible for ensuring that the original and any requested copies of each manually-generated correspondence are sent to you and your representative(s) in accordance with your authorization. Search irs How To Get Tax Help You can get help with unresolved tax issues, order free publications and forms, ask tax questions, and get information from the IRS in several ways. Search irs By selecting the method that is best for you, you will have quick and easy access to tax help. Search irs Free help with your return. Search irs   Free help in preparing your return is available nationwide from IRS-certified volunteers. Search irs The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is designed to help low and moderate income taxpayers and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program is designed to assist taxpayers age 60 and older with their tax returns. Search irs Most VITA and TCE sites offer free electronic filing and all volunteers will let you know about credits and deductions you may be entitled to claim. Search irs To find the nearest VITA or TCE site, visit IRS. Search irs gov or call 1-800-906-9887 or 1-800-829-1040. Search irs   As part of the TCE program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program. Search irs To find the nearest AARP Tax-Aide site, call 1-888-227-7669 or visit AARP's website at www. Search irs aarp. Search irs org/money/taxaide. Search irs   For more information on these programs, go to IRS. Search irs gov and enter keyword “VITA” in the upper right-hand corner. Search irs Internet. Search irs You can access the IRS website at IRS. Search irs gov 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to: E-file your return. Search irs Find out about commercial tax preparation and e-file services available free to eligible taxpayers. Search irs Check the status of your refund. Search irs Go to IRS. Search irs gov and click on Where's My Refund. Search irs Wait at least 72 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt of your e-filed return, or 3 to 4 weeks after mailing a paper return. Search irs If you filed Form 8379 with your return, wait 14 weeks (11 weeks if you filed electronically). Search irs Have your tax return available so you can provide your social security number, your filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund. Search irs Download forms, including talking tax forms, instructions, and publications. Search irs Order IRS products online. Search irs Research your tax questions online. Search irs Search publications online by topic or keyword. Search irs Use the online Internal Revenue Code, regulations, or other official guidance. Search irs View Internal Revenue Bulletins (IRBs) published in the last few years. Search irs Figure your withholding allowances using the withholding calculator online at www. Search irs irs. Search irs gov/individuals. Search irs Determine if Form 6251 must be filed by using our Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) Assistant available online at www. Search irs irs. Search irs gov/individuals. Search irs Sign up to receive local and national tax news by email. Search irs Get information on starting and operating a small business. Search irs Phone. Search irs Many services are available by phone. Search irs   Ordering forms, instructions, and publications. Search irs Call 1-800-TAX -FORM (1-800-829-3676) to order current-year forms, instructions, and publications, and prior-year forms and instructions. Search irs You should receive your order within 10 days. Search irs Asking tax questions. Search irs Call the IRS with your tax questions at 1-800-829-1040. Search irs Solving problems. Search irs You can get face-to-face help solving tax problems every business day in IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers. Search irs An employee can explain IRS letters, request adjustments to your account, or help you set up a payment plan. Search irs Call your local Taxpayer Assistance Center for an appointment. Search irs To find the number, go to www. Search irs irs. Search irs gov/localcontacts or look in the phone book under United States Government, Internal Revenue Service. Search irs TTY/TDD equipment. Search irs If you have access to TTY/TDD equipment, call 1-800-829-4059 to ask tax questions or to order forms and publications. Search irs TeleTax topics. Search irs Call 1-800-829-4477 to listen to pre-recorded messages covering various tax topics. Search irs Refund information. Search irs To check the status of your refund, call 1-800-829-1954 or 1-800-829-4477 (automated refund information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Search irs Wait at least 72 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt of your e-filed return, or 3 to 4 weeks after mailing a paper return. Search irs If you filed Form 8379 with your return, wait 14 weeks (11 weeks if you filed electronically). Search irs Have your tax return available so you can provide your social security number, your filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund. Search irs If you check the status of your refund and are not given the date it will be issued, please wait until the next week before checking back. Search irs Other refund information. Search irs To check the status of a prior-year refund or amended return refund, call 1-800-829-1040. Search irs Evaluating the quality of our telephone services. Search irs To ensure IRS representatives give accurate, courteous, and professional answers, we use several methods to evaluate the quality of our telephone services. Search irs One method is for a second IRS representative to listen in on or record random telephone calls. Search irs Another is to ask some callers to complete a short survey at the end of the call. Search irs Walk-in. Search irs Many products and services are available on a walk-in basis. Search irs   Products. Search irs You can walk in to many post offices, libraries, and IRS offices to pick up certain forms, instructions, and publications. Search irs Some IRS offices, libraries, grocery stores, copy centers, city and county government offices, credit unions, and office supply stores have a collection of products available to print from a CD or photocopy from reproducible proofs. Search irs Also, some IRS offices and libraries have the Internal Revenue Code, regulations, Internal Revenue Bulletins, and Cumulative Bulletins available for research purposes. Search irs Services. Search irs You can walk in to your local Taxpayer Assistance Center every business day for personal, face-to-face tax help. Search irs An employee can explain IRS letters, request adjustments to your tax account, or help you set up a payment plan. Search irs If you need to resolve a tax problem, have questions about how the tax law applies to your individual tax return, or you are more comfortable talking with someone in person, visit your local Taxpayer Assistance Center where you can spread out your records and talk with an IRS representative face-to-face. Search irs No appointment is necessary—just walk in. Search irs If you prefer, you can call your local Center and leave a message requesting an appointment to resolve a tax account issue. Search irs A representative will call you back within 2 business days to schedule an in-person appointment at your convenience. Search irs If you have an ongoing, complex tax account problem or a special need, such as a disability, an appointment can be requested. Search irs All other issues will be handled without an appointment. Search irs To find the number of your local office, go to  www. Search irs irs. Search irs gov/localcontacts or look in the phone book under United States Government, Internal Revenue Service. Search irs Mail. Search irs You can send your order for forms, instructions, and publications to the address below. Search irs You should receive a response within 10 days after your request is received. Search irs  Internal Revenue Service 1201 N. Search irs Mitsubishi Motorway Bloomington, IL 61705-6613 Taxpayer Advocate Service. Search irs   The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is your voice at the IRS. Search irs Our job is to ensure that every taxpayer is treated fairly, and that you know and understand your rights. Search irs We offer free help to guide you through the often-confusing process of resolving tax problems that you haven’t been able to solve on your own. Search irs Remember, the worst thing you can do is nothing at all. Search irs   TAS can help if you can’t resolve your problem with the IRS and: Your problem is causing financial difficulties for you, your family, or your business. Search irs You face (or your business is facing) an immediate threat of adverse action. Search irs You have tried repeatedly to contact the IRS but no one has responded, or the IRS has not responded to you by the date promised. Search irs   If you qualify for our help, we’ll do everything we can to get your problem resolved. Search irs You will be assigned to one advocate who will be with you at every turn. Search irs We have offices in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Search irs Although TAS is independent within the IRS, our advocates know how to work with the IRS to get your problems resolved. Search irs And our services are always free. Search irs   As a taxpayer, you have rights that the IRS must abide by in its dealings with you. Search irs Our tax toolkit at www. Search irs TaxpayerAdvocate. Search irs irs. Search irs gov can help you understand these rights. Search irs   If you think TAS might be able to help you, call your local advocate, whose number is in your phone book and on our website at www. Search irs irs. Search irs gov/advocate. Search irs You can also call our toll-free number at 1-877-777-4778 or TTY/TDD 1-800-829-4059. Search irs   TAS also handles large-scale or systemic problems that affect many taxpayers. Search irs If you know of one of these broad issues, please report it to us through our Systemic Advocacy Management System at www. Search irs irs. Search irs gov/advocate. Search irs Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs). Search irs   Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) are independent from the IRS. Search irs Some clinics serve individuals whose income is below a certain level and who need to resolve a tax problem. Search irs These clinics provide professional representation before the IRS or in court on audits, appeals, tax collection disputes, and other issues for free or for a small fee. Search irs Some clinics can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in many different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. Search irs For more information and to find a clinic near you, see the LITC page on www. Search irs irs. Search irs gov/advocate or IRS Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List. Search irs This publication is also available by calling 1-800-829-3676 or at your local IRS office. Search irs Free tax services. Search irs   Publication 910, IRS Guide to Free Tax Services, is your guide to IRS services and resources. Search irs Learn about free tax information from the IRS, including publications, services, and education and assistance programs. Search irs The publication also has an index of over 100 TeleTax topics (recorded tax information) you can listen to on the telephone. Search irs The majority of the information and services listed in this publication are available to you free of charge. Search irs If there is a fee associated with a resource or service, it is listed in the publication. Search irs   Accessible versions of IRS published products are available on request in a variety of alternative formats for people with disabilities. Search irs DVD for tax products. Search irs You can order Publication 1796, IRS Tax Products DVD, and obtain: Current-year forms, instructions, and publications. Search irs Prior-year forms, instructions, and publications. Search irs Tax Map: an electronic research tool and finding aid. Search irs Tax law frequently asked questions. Search irs Tax Topics from the IRS telephone response system. Search irs Internal Revenue Code—Title 26 of the U. Search irs S. Search irs Code. Search irs Links to other Internet based Tax Research Materials. Search irs Fill-in, print, and save features for most tax forms. Search irs Internal Revenue Bulletins. Search irs Toll-free and email technical support. Search irs Two releases during the year. Search irs  – The first release will ship the beginning of January. Search irs  – The final release will ship the beginning of March. Search irs Purchase the DVD from National Technical Information Service (NTIS) at www. Search irs irs. Search irs gov/cdorders for $30 (no handling fee) or call 1-877-233-6767 toll free to buy the DVD for $30 (plus a $6 handling fee). Search irs Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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Tax Relief for Victims of Tropical Storm Lee in Pennsylvania

E-file to Remain Open through Oct. 31 for Tropical Storm Lee Victims

Updated 11/1/11 to include Huntingdon and Monroe counties.
Updated 9/27/11 to include Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Northampton and Philadelphia counties.

PA-34-2011, Sept. 13, 2011

PHILADELPHIA — Victims of Tropical Storm Lee that began on Sept. 3, 2011 in parts of Pennsylvania may qualify for tax relief from the Internal Revenue Service.

The President has declared the following counties a federal disaster area: Adams, Berks, Bradford, Bucks, Chester, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Huntingdon, Lancaster, Lebanon, Luzerne, Lycoming, Monroe, Montgomery, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Perry, Philadelphia, Schuylkill, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Union, Wyoming and York. Individuals who reside or have a business in these counties may qualify for tax relief.

The declaration permits the IRS to postpone certain deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the disaster area. For instance, certain deadlines falling on or after Sept. 3, and on or before Oct. 31, have been postponed to Oct. 31, 2011. This includes corporations and other businesses that previously obtained an extension until Sept. 15 to file their 2010 returns, and individuals and businesses that received a similar extension until Oct. 17. It also includes the estimated tax payment for the third quarter, normally due Sept. 15.

In addition, the IRS is waiving the failure-to-deposit penalties for employment and excise tax deposits due on or after Sept. 3, and on or before Sept. 19, as long as the deposits are made by Sept. 19, 2011.

If an affected taxpayer receives a penalty notice from the IRS, the taxpayer should call the telephone number on the notice to have the IRS abate any interest and any late filing or late payment penalties that would otherwise apply. Penalties or interest will be abated only for taxpayers who have an original or extended filing, payment or deposit due date, including an extended filing or payment due date, that falls within the postponement period.

The IRS automatically identifies taxpayers located in the covered disaster area and applies automatic filing and payment relief. But affected taxpayers who reside or have a business located outside the covered disaster area must call the IRS disaster hotline at 1-866-562-5227 to request this tax relief.

Covered Disaster Area

The counties listed above constitute a covered disaster area for purposes of Treas. Reg. § 301.7508A-1(d)(2) and are entitled to the relief detailed below.

Affected Taxpayers

Taxpayers considered to be affected taxpayers eligible for the postponement of time to file returns, pay taxes and perform other time-sensitive acts are those taxpayers listed in Treas. Reg. § 301.7508A-1(d)(1), and include individuals who live, and businesses whose principal place of business is located, in the covered disaster area. Taxpayers not in the covered disaster area, but whose records necessary to meet a deadline listed in Treas. Reg. § 301.7508A-1(c) are in the covered disaster area, are also entitled to relief. In addition, all relief workers affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization assisting in the relief activities in the covered disaster area and any individual visiting the covered disaster area who was killed or injured as a result of the disaster are entitled to relief.

Grant of Relief

Under section 7508A, the IRS gives affected taxpayers until Oct. 31 to file most tax returns (including individual, corporate, and estate and trust income tax returns; partnership returns, S corporation returns, and trust returns; estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax returns; and employment and certain excise tax returns), or to make tax payments, including estimated tax payments, that have either an original or extended due date occurring on or after Sept. 3 and on or before Oct. 31.

The IRS also gives affected taxpayers until Oct. 31 to perform other time-sensitive actions described in Treas. Reg. § 301.7508A-1(c)(1) and Rev. Proc. 2007-56, 2007-34 I.R.B. 388 (Aug. 20, 2007), that are due to be performed on or after Sept. 3 and on or before Oct. 31.

This relief also includes the filing of Form 5500 series returns, in the manner described in section 8 of Rev. Proc. 2007-56. The relief described in section 17 of Rev. Proc. 2007-56, pertaining to like-kind exchanges of property, also applies to certain taxpayers who are not otherwise affected taxpayers and may include acts required to be performed before or after the period above.

The postponement of time to file and pay does not apply to information returns in the W-2, 1098, 1099 series, or to Forms 1042-S or 8027. Penalties for failure to timely file information returns can be waived under existing procedures for reasonable cause. Likewise, the postponement does not apply to employment and excise tax deposits. The IRS, however, will abate penalties for failure to make timely employment and excise tax deposits due on or after Sept. 3 and on or before Sept. 19 provided the taxpayer makes these deposits by Sept. 19.

Casualty Losses

Affected taxpayers in a federally declared disaster area have the option of claiming disaster-related casualty losses on their federal income tax return for either this year or last year. Claiming the loss on an original or amended return for last year will get the taxpayer an earlier refund, but waiting to claim the loss on this year’s return could result in a greater tax saving, depending on other income factors.

Individuals may deduct personal property losses that are not covered by insurance or other reimbursements. For details, see Form 4684 and its instructions.

Affected taxpayers claiming the disaster loss on last year’s return should put the Disaster Designation “Pennsylvania/Tropical Storm Lee” at the top of the form so that the IRS can expedite the processing of the refund.

Other Relief

The IRS will waive the usual fees and expedite requests for copies of previously filed tax returns for affected taxpayers. Taxpayers should put the assigned Disaster Designation in red ink at the top of Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, or Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, as appropriate, and submit it to the IRS.

Affected taxpayers who are contacted by the IRS on a collection or examination matter should explain how the disaster impacts them so that the IRS can provide appropriate consideration to their case.

Taxpayers may download forms and publications from the official IRS website, irs.gov, or order them by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676). The IRS toll-free number for general tax questions is 1-800-829-1040.

Related Information

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 27-Sep-2013

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Search irs 5. Search irs   How To Get Tax Help Table of Contents Whether it's help with a tax issue, preparing your tax return or a need for a free publication or form, get the help you need the way you want it: online, use a smart phone, call or walk in to an IRS office or volunteer site near you. Search irs Free help with your tax return. Search irs   You can get free help preparing your return nationwide from IRS-certified volunteers. Search irs The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program helps low-to-moderate income, elderly, people with disabilities, and limited English proficient taxpayers. Search irs The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program helps taxpayers age 60 and older with their tax returns. Search irs Most VITA and TCE sites offer free electronic filing and all volunteers will let you know about credits and deductions you may be entitled to claim. Search irs In addition, some VITA and TCE sites provide taxpayers the opportunity to prepare their own return with help from an IRS-certified volunteer. Search irs To find the nearest VITA or TCE site, you can use the VITA Locator Tool on IRS. Search irs gov, download the IRS2Go app, or call 1-800-906-9887. Search irs   As part of the TCE program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program. Search irs To find the nearest AARP Tax-Aide site, visit AARP's website at www. Search irs aarp. Search irs org/money/taxaide or call 1-888-227-7669. Search irs For more information on these programs, go to IRS. Search irs gov and enter “VITA” in the search box. Search irs Internet. Search irs    IRS. Search irs gov and IRS2Go are ready when you are —24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Search irs Download the free IRS2Go app from the iTunes app store or from Google Play. Search irs Use it to check your refund status, order transcripts of your tax returns or tax account, watch the IRS YouTube channel, get IRS news as soon as it's released to the public, subscribe to filing season updates or daily tax tips, and follow the IRS Twitter news feed, @IRSnews, to get the latest federal tax news, including information about tax law changes and important IRS programs. Search irs Check the status of your 2013 refund with the Where's My Refund? application on IRS. Search irs gov or download the IRS2Go app and select the Refund Status option. Search irs The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. Search irs Using these applications, you can start checking on the status of your return within 24 hours after we receive your e-filed return or 4 weeks after you mail a paper return. Search irs You will also be given a personalized refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund. 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Search irs The IRS Tax Map integrates forms and publications into one research tool and provides single-point access to tax law information by subject. Search irs When the user searches the IRS Tax Map, they will be provided with links to related content in existing IRS publications, forms and instructions, questions and answers, and Tax Topics. Search irs Coming this filing season, you can immediately view and print for free all 5 types of individual federal tax transcripts (tax returns, tax account, record of account, wage and income statement, and certification of non-filing) using Get Transcript. Search irs You can also ask the IRS to mail a return or an account transcript to you. Search irs Only the mail option is available by choosing the Tax Records option on the IRS2Go app by selecting Mail Transcript on IRS. Search irs gov or by calling 1-800-908-9946. Search irs Tax return and tax account transcripts are generally available for the current year and the past three years. 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Search irs Locate the nearest Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) using the Office Locator tool on IRS. Search irs gov, or choose the Contact Us option on the IRS2Go app and search Local Offices. Search irs An employee can answer questions about your tax account or help you set up a payment plan. Search irs Before you visit, check the Office Locator on IRS. Search irs gov, or Local Offices under Contact Us on IRS2Go to confirm the address, phone number, days and hours of operation, and the services provided. Search irs If you have a special need, such as a disability, you can request an appointment. Search irs Call the local number listed in the Office Locator, or look in the phone book under United States Government, Internal Revenue Service. Search irs Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Search irs Go to IRS. Search irs gov and enter Apply for an EIN in the search box. Search irs Read the Internal Revenue Code, regulations, or other official guidance. 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Search irs Most VITA and TCE sites offer free electronic filing. Search irs Some VITA and TCE sites provide IRS-certified volunteers who can help prepare your tax return. Search irs Through the TCE program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program; call 1-888-227-7669 to find the nearest Tax-Aide location. Search irs Call the automated Where's My Refund? information hotline to check the status of your 2013 refund 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-829-1954. Search irs If you e-file, you can start checking on the status of your return within 24 hours after the IRS receives your tax return or 4 weeks after you've mailed a paper return. Search irs The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. Search irs Where's My Refund? will give you a personalized refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund. Search irs Before you call this automated hotline, have your 2013 tax return handy so you can enter your social security number, your filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund. Search irs The IRS updates Where's My Refund? every 24 hours, usually overnight, so you only need to check once a day. Search irs Note, the above information is for our automated hotline. Search irs Our live phone and walk-in assistors can research the status of your refund only if it's been 21 days or more since you filed electronically or more than 6 weeks since you mailed your paper return. Search irs Call the Amended Return Hotline, 1-866-464-2050, to check the status of your amended return. Search irs You can generally expect your amended return to be processed up to 12 weeks from the date we receive it. Search irs It can take up to 3 weeks from the date you mailed it to show up in our system. Search irs Call 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676) to order current-year forms, instructions, publications, and prior-year forms and instructions (limited to 5 years). Search irs You should receive your order within 10 business days. Search irs Call TeleTax, 1-800-829-4477, to listen to pre-recorded messages covering general and business tax information. Search irs If, between January and April 15, you still have questions about the Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ (like filing requirements, dependents, credits, Schedule D, pensions and IRAs or self-employment taxes), call 1-800-829-1040. Search irs Call using TTY/TDD equipment, 1-800-829-4059 to ask tax questions or order forms and publications. Search irs The TTY/TDD telephone number is for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability. Search irs These individuals can also contact the IRS through relay services such as the Federal Relay Service. Search irs Walk-in. Search irs   You can find a selection of forms, publications and services — in-person. Search irs Products. Search irs You can walk in to some post offices, libraries, and IRS offices to pick up certain forms, instructions, and publications. Search irs Some IRS offices, libraries, and city and county government offices have a collection of products available to photocopy from reproducible proofs. Search irs Services. Search irs You can walk in to your local TAC for face-to-face tax help. Search irs An employee can answer questions about your tax account or help you set up a payment plan. Search irs Before visiting, use the Office Locator tool on IRS. Search irs gov, or choose the Contact Us option on the IRS2Go app and search Local Offices for days and hours of operation, and services provided. Search irs Mail. Search irs   You can send your order for forms, instructions, and publications to the address below. Search irs You should receive a response within 10 business days after your request is received. Search irs Internal Revenue Service 1201 N. Search irs Mitsubishi Motorway Bloomington, IL 61705-6613   The Taxpayer Advocate Service Is Here to Help You. Search irs The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is your voice at the IRS. Search irs Our job is to ensure that every taxpayer is treated fairly and that you know and understand your rights. Search irs   What can TAS do for you? We can offer you free help with IRS problems that you can't resolve on your own. Search irs We know this process can be confusing, but the worst thing you can do is nothing at all! TAS can help if you can't resolve your tax problem and: Your problem is causing financial difficulties for you, your family, or your business. Search irs You face (or your business is facing) an immediate threat of adverse action. Search irs You've tried repeatedly to contact the IRS but no one has responded, or the IRS hasn't responded by the date promised. Search irs   If you qualify for our help, you'll be assigned to one advocate who'll be with you at every turn and will do everything possible to resolve your problem. Search irs Here's why we can help: TAS is an independent organization within the IRS. Search irs Our advocates know how to work with the IRS. Search irs Our services are free and tailored to meet your needs. Search irs We have offices in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Search irs   How can you reach us? If you think TAS can help you, call your local advocate, whose number is in your local directory and at Taxpayer Advocate, or call us toll-free at 1-877-777-4778. Search irs   How else does TAS help taxpayers?  TAS also works to resolve large-scale, systemic problems that affect many taxpayers. Search irs If you know of one of these broad issues, please report it to us through our Systemic Advocacy Management System. Search irs Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications