To protect the confidentiality of tax records, Massachusetts law generally prohibits DOR from disclosing tax return information to anyone other than taxpayers or their representatives. Generally, DOR can only release tax information to representatives if they provide valid powers of attorney.

Unauthorized disclosure of tax information is prohibited. Violation of this statute is punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both, and by disqualification from holding office in the Commonwealth for a period not to exceed 3 years.

Form M-2848 - Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative (POA):
With a Form M-2848 pdf format of    Form M-2848  , a taxpayer can indicate the extent to which he or she is represented by a POA (e.g., the tax type or periods) and can name one or more representatives. A representative cannot receive the taxpayer's refund.

Revocation of Form M-2848:
A new form must be filed to revoke the power of attorney or make changes to the existing form filed. To revoke in its entirety without executing a new POA, the taxpayer should submit a signed statement of intention to revoke to the bureau with which the form was originally filed.

A family member is not an authorized representative without a signed power of attorney form. (Except husband/wife if a joint return was filed, or when a parent is acting on behalf of a minor child.)

POA on Form CA-6 - Application for Abatement/Amended Return:
A taxpayer no longer needs to attach a separate M-2848 pdf format of    Form M-2848  when filing a Form CA-6 pdf format of    CA-6.pdf  - Application for Abatement/Amended Return. For taxpayer and practitioner convenience, the M-2848 pdf format of    Form M-2848  has been incorporated onto the second page of Form CA-6 pdf format of    CA-6.pdf  . The POA is only good for tax periods specified and issues covered on the particular CA-6.




May the Department of Revenue discuss this return with the preparer shown here? __Yes
A taxpayer should fill in the "Yes" oval on the bottom of the tax returns if he or she wants to authorize DOR to discuss the tax return with the paid preparer who signed the returns without submitting a signed POA. This authorization does not bind the taxpayer to the preparer to represent him/her for other DOR issues; a Form M-2848 pdf format of    Form M-2848  can still be filed to expand the preparer's authorization.

This authorization is only valid for one year; it expires on the day the following tax year return is due.

Tax YearReturn DuePaid Preparer Expires
2012April 15, 2013                        April 15, 2014
2013April 15, 2014  April 15, 2015

Paid preparer authorization on tax return permits DOR to:

  • request paid preparer to submit any information that is missing from the return;
  • call the paid preparer about any return discrepancies.
Paid preparer authorization on tax return permits the tax preparer to:
  • call DOR for information on the processing of the return;
  • call DOR for the status of the refund or payment(s);
  • use the IVR or web to check refund or verify estimated tax payments; and
  • respond to certain DOR notices about math errors, offsets and return preparation.

Paid preparer authorization on tax return limitations include the following:
  • it is only for the individual paid preparer who signed the return, not for other preparers from the same company or firm;
  • it does not authorize DOR to issue refund checks to the tax preparer;
  • it cannot be revoked but will expire no later than the due date (without regard to extension) for filing the next year's tax return.


Limitation when There Is Neither Power of Attorney nor Paid Preparer Authorization:
If there is neither a power of attorney (i.e., no Form M-2848 pdf format of    Form M-2848  or POA signed on the Form CA-6 pdf format of    CA-6.pdf  ) nor a paid preparer authorization, DOR employees can only verify whether returns were filed with a "Yes" or "No" answer. This information can be given over the telephone. However, DOR can give out neither line item information nor an address.
 

There are also circumstances under which DOR may discuss tax information with someone other than the taxpayer only If the taxpayer calls in, verifies that he or she is in fact the taxpayer and requests that DOR speak with someone who is either in the same room as the taxpayer or is on the same phone line as the taxpayer. This situation often occurs when the taxpayer has difficulty speaking English.

DOR can verify that the taxpayer is on the line by requesting his or her social security #, address and last year's tax refund or payment.

To request additional information, a taxpayer may submit the request in writing to:
 

Disclosure Office
Massachusetts Department of Revenue
100 Cambridge Street
Boston, MA 02114

Massachusetts References: