Choosing Qualified Representation for your IRS Case


Being Audited 5 Reasons to Get Audit Representation

You have the right to representation before the IRS. Depending on the specifics of your case, you may benefit by allowing someone to advocate for you and to take charge of complicated processes for which you lack skill and comprehension. While you do have the right to argue for yourself in IRS matters, you may find it more advantageous to allow one of the permitted representatives to assist you in your case.

Tax Attorneys

A tax attorney may at first glance be the most common sense choice to help you with your IRS matters. An attorney who is good standing with the state's bar association and has not been suspended or disbarred by the IRS can represent you in your case.



A certified public accountant may also seem like a logical choice when you plan to go before the IRS. A CPA has the professional training to audit financial statements and tax returns and also assist you in the most sensitive and urgent oft tax matters. As with an attorney, however, the CPA that you hire must be in good standing with the IRS, that is not suspended or disbarred, and also must be certified to practice by the state.

Enrolled Agents

Enrolled agents, referred to as EAs, include actuaries and retirement plan agents. EAs are allowed to represent you before the IRS. Again, these agents must be licensed in the state in which they practice and not be disbarred or suspended by the IRS.

The IRS categorizes attorneys, CPAs, and enrolled agents as unlimited representation, meaning that these professionals can represent you in all tax matters, even those that involve closing an estate or appealing a case. If your tax situation is relatively straightforward, but you still feel more at ease having someone represent you, you may choose to utilize one of these limited representation choices:

  • Relatives
  • Business partner
  • Employees
  • Fiduciaries like trustees, executors, administrators, or other personal representatives
  • An officer of a corporation, association, or another organized group
You may also have a student tax preparer represent you in special circumstances, such as if you utilized low-income tax preparation services. To allow a student to represent you, you must appeal to the IRS Office of Personal Responsibility. The student preparer also must be supervised by an authorized tax representative.

Limited representative can only assist you in allowable tax matters if they prepared and signed your return. They can likewise only appear before certain IRS personnel. The IRS staff that they can appear before include:

  • IRS revenue agents
  • Customer service representatives
  • Similar IRS employees


They cannot represent you in matters of collections, appeals, estate closures, and other more complicated cases. They also cannot assist you if they themselves did not prepare or sign your tax return.

If you plan on appearing before the IRS with a representative to assist you, you must complete the required IRS form and submit it before the stipulated deadline. You can find Form 2848, the form for indicating your use of representation on It must be filled out and submitted to correspond with the tax year and return pertaining to your case.

Just as you may not want to appear in court without a lawyer to represent you, you likewise may find it prudent to rely on professional representation before the IRS. Depending on the nature and complexity of your case, you choose either a limited or unlimited representative. A tax professional can assist you in your tax matter and also ensure that the legalities of your IRS matter are dealt with fairly and promptly.