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Who Can Represent My Business Before the Internal Revenue Service?

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Question: Who Can Represent My Business Before the Internal Revenue Service?

You have received an audit notice from the IRS and you would like to get some help when you go to the audit meeting. You need to know who can represent you and your business at that meeting and future dealings with the IRS.

Answer:

The IRS calls this process "practicing before the Internal Revenue Service," which includes:

all matters connected with a presentation to the IRS on behalf of the taxpayer. Examples include preparing and filing documents, communicating with the IRS, and representing a client at meetings.

The IRS also says that anyone can practice before the IRS:

  • An individual may appear on their own behalf
  • An individual may represent an immediate family member,
  • A regular full-time employee of an employer may represent the employer,
  • A general partner or a regular full-time employee of a partnership may represent the partnership.
  • A bona fide officer or a regular full-time employee of a corporation, association, or organized group may represent the corporation, association, or organized group.
  • A regular full-time employee of a trust, receivership, guardianship, or estate may represent the trust, receivership, guardianship, or estate.
  • An officer or a regular employee of a governmental unit, agency, or authority may represent the government unit, agency, or authority in the course of his or her official duties.
  • An individual may represent any individual or entity, which is outside the United States, before personnel of the IRS when such representation takes place outside the United States.

Unenrolled Preparer
An unenrolled preparer is an individual who prepares and signs a taxpayer’s return as the preparer (or who prepares a tax return but is not required to sign the tax return) may represent the taxpayer only with respect to the return he or she prepared and signed. Such an individual may represent the taxpayer before revenue agents and customer service representatives, but not appeals officers, revenue officers, or Counsel.

Best Representatives
The best person to represent your business in tax matters before the IRS would be your CPA, your tax attorney, or an Enrolled Agent. This person should be very familiar with your tax return and be able to speak to the issues in its preparation and filing.

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