Procedures
614.1. In General.
614.2. Filing the Power of Attorney.
614.3. Effect of the Power of Attorney.
614.4. Revoking or Changing the Power of Attorney.
614.5. Authorization Other Than Power of Attorney.
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614.1. In General

To protect the confidentiality of tax records, Massachusetts law generally prohibits DOR from disclosing tax return information to anyone other than the taxpayer or his or her representative. DOR can only release tax information to a representative if the taxpayer accompanies the representative to a DOR office, if the representative holds a valid power of attorney, or as described in 614.5 below.

Except as noted in 614.5 below, DOR generally will only accept powers of attorney executed on Form M-2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative.  Powers of attorney for estate tax matters can be executed directly on estate tax returns.  Powers of attorney for some matters can also be executed directly on certain Notices of Failure to File Return.  Limited powers of attorney may also be granted on Income Tax Returns, Applications for Abatement/Amended Returns, and online via Web Services for Income or WebFile for Business.  Form M-2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, is available on the Department’s website, www.mass.gov/dor at Tax Forms/Miscellaneous/Additional Forms.

614.2. Filing the Power of Attorney


There is no central power of attorney office within DOR.  It is not necessary to file a power of attorney with DOR unless the taxpayer is currently involved in a matter requiring contact with DOR employees.  Usually, the power of attorney will follow the taxpayer's file through the various offices of DOR.  The taxpayer may, however, be requested to file new copies of the power of attorney by any DOR offices that become involved with the taxpayer's case.

DOR will accept a photocopied power of attorney or a power of attorney transmitted by fax, but reserves the right to require an original power of attorney.  A power of attorney may only be used for the taxpayer(s) named on the form.  Powers of attorney and revocations of powers of attorney should be filed with the Litigation Bureau only if the taxpayer has a case or a request for records pending in the Litigation Bureau. 

614.3. Effect of the Power of Attorney

With Form M-2848, a taxpayer can indicate the extent to which he or she authorizes disclosure (e.g., only certain tax types or periods) and can name one or more representatives.  The powers granted extend to any matter affecting the tax type and period specifically referred to in the power of attorney unless the taxpayer limits the powers.  Generally, a representative having a power of attorney can perform any act that can be performed by the taxpayer, unless the taxpayer specifies specific exclusions to these general powers on the Form M-2848.  A representative can neither delegate to another representative a power of attorney granted by the taxpayer unless the taxpayer specifically granted that power to the representative, nor can a representative receive refund checks.

614.4. Revoking or Changing the Power of Attorney

To change a representative, alter the power given to a representative, or revoke a power of attorney, a taxpayer should file a new Form M-2848 and indicate these changes. The new power of attorney will revoke the earlier power with respect to the tax types and tax periods specified on the earlier power, unless the revoking power of attorney specifically states otherwise.

To revoke a power of attorney without filing a new Form M-2848, the taxpayer should send a signed statement indicating his or her intention to revoke to each DOR office where the earlier power was filed.  The taxpayer must state the name and address of each representative whose authority is revoked.

For powers of attorney granted online, taxpayers must use the account management function of their Web Services for Income or WebFile for Business user account to update the power of attorney information.

614.5. Authorization Other Than Power of Attorney

An alternative to Form M-2848 may be accepted at the discretion of DOR if the alternative contains information similar to that requested on Form M-2848.  Alternative power of attorney forms may be subject to additional review and may cause a delay in processing.  Any questions involving the validity of a power of attorney or other written authorization should be referred to a disclosure attorney in the Litigation Bureau by calling (617) 626-3225.

Reporting agents or bulk filers (such as payroll service companies) are encouraged to contact DOR's Customer Service Bureau at (617) 887-6100 regarding any special requirements or forms.


REFERENCES:
G.L. c. 62C, § 21
830 CMR 62C.21.1
Form M-2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative