IRS News Release  
May 24, 1999

IRS Uses Technology to Improve
the Power of Attorney Process

WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service is using technology to make it easier for taxpayers and their designated representatives to receive more timely service. As part of its continuing effort to improve customer service and move to a modernized way of doing business, the IRS is now storing data relating to the Power of Attorney in a universally accessible electronic data base. This allows taxpayers to file their Power of Attorney forms at any service center handling their tax matter and allows instant access to the data by IRS employees regardless of their location.

The universally accessible data base eliminates the need to ship paper documents from one location to another or to repeatedly request faxes or mailings from the taxpayer or their representative. This improves the timeliness of IRS response to the taxpayer’s issue and reduces the burden of repetitive contacts with the IRS.

“We listened to our customers and developed a simple solution that will better meet their needs,” said Charles O. Rossotti, Commissioner of Internal Revenue. “It also fits within our modernization framework.”

Previously, taxpayers or their representatives had to mail or fax the Power of Attorney forms to the service center at which the taxpayer filed his or her tax return. The data base into which the information was entered was not accessible to IRS employees at other locations, creating delays for taxpayers. Taxpayers and tax practitioners had urged the IRS to develop a less cumbersome process.

Taxpayers use Forms 8821 (Tax Information Authorization) or 2848 (Power of Attorney) to designate an appointee to receive and inspect their confidential tax information or to represent them before the IRS. The forms require the taxpayer to specify the type of tax matter and the period of time for which the Power of Attorney is effective. The IRS has almost 1.5 million valid Power of Attorney forms currently on file, representing more than 5 million taxpayers.

To save time, taxpayers or their representatives may fax their signed Forms 2848 and 8821 directly to the Centralized Authorization File Unit, located in the service center to which they normally send their tax returns, which will be entering the forms into the data base. The units and their fax numbers are listed below.

                Centralized Authorization File Units
                Service Center         FAX Number
                Andover                978-474-9405
                Atlanta                678-530-6392
                Austin                 512-460-0176
                Brookhaven             516-654-6583
                Cincinnati             606-292-5185
                Fresno                 559-454-6334
                Kansas City            816-823-2076
                Memphis                901-546-4115
                Ogden                  801-334-4179
                Philadelphia           215-516-5994

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