Who Can Represent Tax Payers Before The IRS?

Many tax payers use a paid tax professional to prepare their taxes. All paid tax professionals are not viewed the same way in the eyes of the IRS and of such have different level of representation rights.

Anyone who prepares, or assists in preparing, all or substantially all of a federal tax return for compensation is required to have a valid Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). This include enrolled agents and certified public accountants. When a tax payer chooses to have someone prepare their federal tax return, it is of paramount importance to know who can represent you before the IRS if there is a problem with your tax return.

Representation rights, also known as practice rights, fall into two categories:

  • Unlimited Representation
  • Limited Representation

Unlimited representation rights allow a credentialed tax practitioner to represent you before the IRS on any tax matter. This is true no matter who prepared your return. Credentialed tax professionals who have unlimited representation rights include:

  • Enrolled agents
  • Certified Public Accountants
  • Attorneys

Limited representation rights authorize the tax professional to represent you if, and only if, they prepared and signed the return. They can do this only before IRS revenue agents, customer service representatives and similar IRS employees. They cannot represent clients whose returns they did not prepare. They cannot represent clients regarding appeals or collection issues even if they did prepare the return in question.

For returns filed after December 31, 2015, the only tax return preparers with limited representation rights are Annual Filing Season Program Participants. The Annual Filing Season Program is a voluntary program. Non-credentialed tax return preparers who aim for a higher level of professionalism are encouraged to participate.

Other tax return preparers have limited representation rights, but only for returns filed before Jan. 1, 2016. Keep these changes in mind and choose wisely when you select a tax return preparer. If you need expert assistance and representation before the IRS, contact the office of Metro Accounting And Tax Services, CPAs at 404-990-3365. We’ll speak to the IRS on your behalf.

User | 7/02/2018