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For Your Eyes Only: Using Form 8821 to Give Tax Information Authorization

For Your Eyes Only: Using Form 8821 to Give Tax Information Authorization

Facebook has privacy settings. The IRS uses 8821.

Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization, is a legal document that allows individuals to authorize designated individuals or organizations to access and receive their confidential tax information. The purpose of this form is to grant permission to tax professionals, such as tax attorneys or authorized tax representatives, to act on behalf of the taxpayer in matters related to their tax returns or tax information.

By completing Form 8821, individuals can grant representatives the authority to access their tax returns, tax documents, and other relevant tax information, enabling them to effectively assist with complex tax situations, IRS audits, or any other tax matters. This authorization also allows representatives to request and receive tax credits, tax refund checks, income verification, or any other applicable tax matters.

To file Form 8821, individuals must provide their personal information, including their name, address, social security number, and the name of the authorized representative. The completed form must be signed and dated by the taxpayer. Similarly, revoking Form 8821 is a straightforward process that involves submitting a written statement to the IRS explaining the termination of authorization.

It’s important to note that Form 8821 differs from Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, as the latter grants representatives broader powers in handling taxpayers’ financial matters. While Form 8821 limits access to tax information, Form 2848 authorizes representatives to act on behalf of taxpayers regarding any federal tax matters.

What Exactly is Form 8821?

Form 8821, also known as the Tax Information Authorization, is a document designed to grant individuals the ability to authorize another person or entity to access their tax records and information. This authorization allows the representative to assist the taxpayer with any type of tax matters, such as filing tax returns, handling audits, or resolving complex tax issues.

To complete Form 8821, individuals are required to provide specific information, including their name, address, social security number, and the name of the authorized representative. By signing and dating the ready form, the taxpayer grants the representative the authority to receive their tax information from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Then authorized professionals may review tax notices and records, making it easy for them to understand your entire tax situation to create a stress-free filing season on behalf of their clients. 

Form 8821 is widely used by taxpayers who require the assistance of a tax professional, such as a tax attorney or accountant who might already fill the entire form. This authorization enables the representative to effectively navigate tax matters on the taxpayer’s behalf, ensuring compliance with tax laws and regulations.

Two Types of Tax Forms for Authorizing Information: Form 8821 & Form 2848

Tax forms 8821 and Form 2848 are both used to authorize someone else to act on your behalf regarding tax matters, but there are important distinctions between the two.

The Tax Information Authorization form grants a designated individual or organization the authority to receive your tax information from the Internal Revenue Service. This form lets a tax professional of your choice, such as an accountant or tax attorney, access your tax records to assist you with tax preparation or other related matters. With form 8821, you are authorizing them to handle your tax information and receive copies of your tax documents, but they do not have the power to represent you in negotiating with the IRS or signing documents for you.

Form 2848, on the other hand, is the Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative. This form not only grants someone the authority to receive your tax information but also allows them to represent you before the IRS. By completing Form 2848, you are giving the authorized individual the power to act on your behalf in all tax matters, including signing documents and communicating with the IRS. This form is typically used when you need someone to have greater control and decision-making capabilities when dealing with complex tax situations, legal matters, or when addressing tax disputes or audits.

The Process for Revoking IRS Tax Form 8821

  1. Obtain the existing form: If you have a copy of the form, locate it.
  2. Clearly mark “REVOKE”: Write “REVOKE” in bold letters across the top of the existing Form 8821.
  3. Sign and date the form: Provide your signature and date it to authenticate the revocation.
  4. Mail the form to the IRS: Send the revoked form to the IRS address indicated on the instructions.

If you do not have a copy of the form, you can still revoke Form 8821 by sending a notification letter to the IRS. In this letter, include your name, social security number, address, and a clear statement that you are revoking Form 8821 authorization. Sign and date the letter, then mail it to the appropriate IRS address.

Normally, this tax info authorization expires at the end of tax season (or whenever the designated time period ends.) On the other hand, power of attorney must be explicitly revoked if you want to end the authorization.

Please note that revoking Form 8821 only cancels authorization for information disclosure, and it does not affect any preexisting power of attorney granted through Form 2848.

What Is an Authorized Agent?

An authorized agent is an individual or professional who is granted the authority to represent clients before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This designation allows the authorized agent to handle various tax matters on behalf of their clients, such as filing tax returns, resolving disputes, and providing tax advice.

Authorized agents can include tax attorneys, Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), and Enrolled Agents (EAs). These professionals have specialized knowledge in tax laws and regulations, allowing them to effectively navigate complex tax situations and advocate for their clients’ best interests.

However, it’s important to note that authorized agents have limitations. While they can act as representatives for clients before the IRS, they cannot appear in court on their behalf unless they are also attorneys. Furthermore, their authority is limited to tax matters, and they do not have the power to make decisions on other financial or legal matters.

Power of Attorney vs Form 8821

When it comes to granting access to your tax information, there are two common methods: Form 8821 and Power of Attorney. While both serve a similar purpose, it’s important to understand the key differences between them.

Form 8821 lets you authorize a third party, such as a tax professional, to access your tax information. But they can’t act on your behalf. This authorization’s sole purpose is to provide access to your tax information.

On the other hand, Power of Attorney is a legal document that grants someone the authority to act on your behalf in legal or financial matters, including tax matters. This means that the person you designate as your Power of Attorney can communicate and make decisions with the IRS on your behalf. Unlike Form 8821, Power of Attorney extends beyond just accessing tax information, allowing someone to represent you in various legal and financial matters. With power of attorney, someone can file taxes or request a settlement on your behalf.


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