Administrative Procedure

Administrative Procedure AP 614: Power of Attorney

Date: 02/09/2021
Organization: Massachusetts Department of Revenue
Referenced Sources: Massachusetts General Laws

Table of Contents

614.1. In General

To protect the confidentiality of tax records, Massachusetts law generally prohibits the Department of Revenue (“DOR”) from disclosing tax return information to anyone other than the taxpayer or his or her representative.  G.L. c. 62C, § 21(a).  In general, DOR can only release tax information to a representative if (1) the taxpayer accompanies the representative to a DOR office and the taxpayer consents to the release, (2) the representative holds a valid Form M-2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, or (3) the representative provides an alternative power of attorney 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.  Form M-2848 is available on DOR’s website, www.mass.gov/dor, at Tax Forms and Instructions.

Limited powers of attorney may be granted on Income Tax Returns and Form ABT, Applications for Abatement, which provide authorization only with respect to the tax years at issue on that particular document.  Additionally, a taxpayer may designate a third party on MassTaxConnect to file, pay, or amend his tax returns, and view certain account level information.  Through MassTaxConnect (MTC), an authorized third party may also send and receive secure messages about a taxpayer’s account and may file a post-assessment dispute on the taxpayer’s behalf.  However, Form M-2848 is required for a representative to request a taxpayer’s tax return information (beyond what is visible to a third party on MassTaxConnect), receive taxpayer correspondence, file a pre-assessment dispute, represent a taxpayer in a pre-assessment conference, or settlement discussion at the Office of Appeals, and to execute certain documents.

614.2. Filing the Power of Attorney

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. A taxpayer may submit a completed, signed Form M-2848 to DOR by either providing it to the specific DOR employee he or she is working with (such as a collector or auditor), uploading it through MassTaxConnect, or faxing it to 617-660-3995.  Allow 2 business days for the Form M-2848 to be attached to the taxpayer’s account. Note that a Form M-2848 submitted through MassTaxConnect or by fax can be attached to an account only if the taxpayer has previously registered with DOR through MassTaxConnect or has filed a tax return in Massachusetts.  DOR reserves the right to require an original power of attorney.

614.3. Effect of the Power of Attorney

A taxpayer can use Form M-2848 to indicate the extent to which he or she authorizes disclosure (e.g., only for the taxpayer(s), certain tax types, and tax years or periods listed on the form) 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 indicates specific exclusions to these general powers on the Form M-2848.  A representative cannot delegate to another representative a power of attorney granted by the taxpayer unless the taxpayer specifically granted that power to the representative.  A refund check will always be issued in the name of the taxpayer(s) and will not be made payable to a representative.

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.

An attorney or an accountant that has been granted a power of attorney who then changes their place of employment must submit a new power of attorney reflecting that change.  To revoke a power of attorney without filing a new Form M-2848, the taxpayer should submit a signed statement indicating his or her intention to revoke to DOR to the specific person the taxpayer is working with at DOR, through MassTaxConnect or by fax to 617-660-3995.  The taxpayer must state the name and address of each representative whose authority is revoked.

614.5. Alternative Power of Attorney Forms

While DOR generally requires Form M-2848, DOR may, in very limited circumstances, accept an alternative to Form M-2848 at its discretion 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 Call Center at (617) 887-6367 regarding any special requirements or forms.

 

 

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

Referenced Sources:
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