The tax audit. If you have hypertension, the very concept can worsen your condition. Being prepared and anticipating what the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will expect from you is key to managing the stress associated with a tax audit. In this segment of the Pew Law Center’s Arizona Tax Essentials series, I’ll discuss various taxpayer concerns with audits and the different types of audits conducted by the IRS.
As a Taxpayer, Who Can I Represent Before the IRS?
As an individual taxpayer, you may appear on your own behalf before the IRS in any proceeding. But if you want to represent another person or an organization within the U.S., then:
? To represent your partnership, you must be its general partner or its full-time regular employee.
? To represent your employer, you must be its full-time regular employee.
? To represent an organization, corporation, or association, you must be an actual officer or its full-time regular employee.
? To represent a trust, guardianship, estate, or receivership, you must be its full-time regular employee.
? To represent local government, you must be its regular employee or an officer who’s acting within the scope of official job duties.
Just because someone prepared and signed off on (or didn’t sign) your tax return doesn’t mean the preparer has any authority to represent you, the taxpayer, in proceedings before the IRS. Tax preparers can only represent clients as to the information contained in the filed return, and even then that representation is limited to communications with IRS customer service or IRS agents. In dealings with IRS appeals officers, revenue officers, or IRS counsel, you’re on your own. Unless, of course, you retain a tax professional to represent you in all matters raised by the federal agency.
At the IRS, the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) has enforcement powers over tax professionals who represent taxpayers. The OPR regulates enrolled actuaries, agents, appraisers, certified public accountants (CPAs), and attorneys who practice before the IRS and in tax court. Furthermore, experienced tax resolution attorneys like Lawrence ‘D’ Pew must be members in good standing with the State Bar of Arizona...