What does the Tax Pro Account do?
On July 19, 2021, the I.R.S. announced the launch of the Tax Pro Account. This feature, created with the goal of giving taxpayers increased digital control over representation, allows individuals to authorize requests for Powers of Attorney and Tax Information Authorizations. Tax professionals can log onto the Tax Pro Account and prepare a request – essentially a simplified version of either the Form 2848 for Powers of Attorney or the Form 8821 for Tax Information Authorizations. After submission by the tax practitioner, the request will be sent to the taxpayer’s I.R.S. Online Account. The taxpayer then has the option to review all requests as well as electronically sign by checking the box.
Unlike submitting Forms 2848 and 8821 online, by mail, or by fax, utilizing the Tax Pro Account provides for quicker processing. After approval by the taxpayer, the authorization will be submitted directly to the Centralized Authorization File (CAF) database. As such these authorizations can appear almost immediately on both the taxpayer’s and tax professional’s account. However, the I.R.S. does note that authorizations can take up to 48 hours when utilizing the Tax Pro Account.
How to use the Tax Pro Account?
To utilize this service, the taxpayer will need his or her own individual I.R.S. Online Account. Setting up an account requires verification of the taxpayer’s identity and will require certain financial information for verification purposes. If the taxpayer is unable to verify his or her identity, the tax professional will be unable to utilize the Tax Pro Account to submit a request on the taxpayer’s behalf. Taxpayers will also need to have a United States address. Additionally, the Tax Pro Account can only be utilized to request authorizations for individual taxpayers. Tax professionals must have an existing CAF number to utilize this service and cannot utilize the Tax Pro Account to request a CAF number.
The Tax Pro Account can be utilized to request tax matters from the year 2000 to present as well as three future calendar years. This service can be used for the following tax matters only: Form 1040 Income Tax, Split Spousal Assessment or Form 8857 Innocent Spouse Relief, Shared Responsibility Payment, Shared Responsibility Payment – Spousal Assessment, and Civil Penalty (limited to periods of March, June, September, and December). Additionally, unlike when submitting the Form 2848 online, by mail, or fax, the taxpayer does not have the option to retain existing authorizations; submission of a request through the Tax Pro Account will automatically revoke any authorization for the same tax periods and matters. However, an individual can request authorization for multiple representatives; each representative will need to submit a request and the taxpayer must authorize all requests on the same day.
If either a tax practitioner or a taxpayer is unable to utilize the Tax Pro Account for any reason, tax professionals may still submit Forms 2848 and 8821 through either the I.R.S.’s online form submission, by mail, or by fax.