Just a few months ago, IRS released a new version of Form 2848, “Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative,” along with five pages of instructions.
Taxpayers will notice a significant revision in the new form. In the case of individuals who filed a joint Federal income tax return, each spouse will now be required to execute a separate Form 2848, rather than both spouses signing the same Form as in the past. Since the revised form (under this new scheme) has been published, we hear IRS has had some processing problems in keeping track of the separate forms filed by spouses. They say they are “working on” the situation.
Presumably the reason for this change is in the interest of protecting taxpayers – situations might arise (though unlikely) in which one preparer representing both spouses as power of attorney finds him or herself in a conflicted position with respect to the parties. The requirement that each spouse, separately, authorize his or her representative allows for an opportunity to discuss this eventuality. Nonetheless, the new procedure seems unduly burdensome in application to most if not all situations.