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Many people are afraid of the Internal Revenue Service. Some haven’t paid tax returns for several years and owe a large sum in taxes, while some are intimidated by their lack of tax knowledge.

But if you have a tax problem, it won’t go away simply by ignoring it. If you don’t feel like you have the time or resources to handle the matter yourself, you can have someone step in and get the information necessary to help resolve the issue and represent you with the IRS.

To have someone else handle a tax problem, simply complete and submit IRS Form 2848 Power of Attorney to the IRS. Part II, items a-r of the Power of Attorney details who is qualified to represent you, once you complete the Power of Attorney, fax it to the IRS. If you and your spouse file a joint tax return and the matters to be discussed involve those tax returns, you will have to complete a separate Power of Attorney for each taxpayer.

If you want someone to only obtain your confidential tax information but not speak on your behalf, you can complete and submit IRS Form 8821 Tax Information Authorization. This is used usually to speak to the IRS collections division to discover pending action on your account.

If all you want is to obtain copies of previously filed income tax returns, you needn’t have a representative obtain the information for you. Instead submit IRS Form 4506. The instructions that accompany the form will indicate where to mail it. It will cost $57 per tax return to obtain a copy. And it will take approximately 60 days for them to complete the request.

IRS Form 4506-T is a request for a transcript of your tax return information or a statement of your account. It’s free of charge, and if you have not filed your tax returns, you may want to submit this form.  There is also a self-help tool under “Tools” on the IRS Home Page which you can use to order a transcript.

The IRS will provide you with all of the documentation it has received regarding the tax year(s) in question – W-2 information, 1099 information, verification of non-filing, and record of account. If it was submitted to the IRS, they have copies and will provide them to you so you can have your tax return prepared.