Filing Someone Else’s Taxes as Power of Attorney

Power of attorney

Although most of us associate the term ‘power of attorney’ with making financial or medical decisions on someone else’s behalf, there is a wide range of actions that such an arrangement can authorize. One of them is the ability to file someone else’s taxes if they’re unable to do it themselves, either due to advanced age or incapacity.

The IRS permits various types of third-party authorizations, each with a different scope and purpose.Non-IRS power of attorney documents are recognized, but the agent must provide proof of their authority to represent the person. They do this by filing Form 2848 (Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative) along with a copy of the non-IRS POA document. 

A general power of attorney for finances allows an agent to represent a principal before the IRS in all tax matters, unless specifically prohibited. When an individual is unable to sign their tax return due to illness or injury, the agent can sign on their behalf. Upon incapacitation or incompetence of the principal, only a durable non-IRS POA document will remain in force. Otherwise, the POA will be terminated.

If a competent senior does not have a non-IRS power of attorney, they must sign and complete Form 2848 with their chosen representative. Submission of this form will only give the representative authority to act on their behalf before the IRS. It does not grant any other financial authority.

Determine Whether They Need to File

If you have power of attorney for an elderly loved one, confirm whether they actually need to file a tax return. Seniors have specific income limits that determine if they have to file, but remember that Social Security benefits are normally tax-exempt income. You can find out if someone you care about is required to file a federal tax return or file to receive a refund by using the IRS “Do I Need to File? ” tool. 

Getting Ready to File

When tax day approaches, arranging an elder’s financial affairs early will help you avoid unnecessary stress. Develop an organizational system to store and manage financial documents they receive throughout the year, such as:

  • Last year’s tax return
  • Bank statements
  • Payroll stubs, W-2 forms, or 1099 forms (if applicable)
  • Donation receipts
  • Statements of dividend distributions and gains and losses
  • Any receipts from taxes paid throughout the year (estimated or quarterly)
  • Deductible medical expense receipts

It’s important to have a basic understanding of tax laws that could affect how you file as power of attorney. While you may be adept at doing your own taxes, elder care has its own set of rules. By understanding these distinctions, you can lower the person’s tax bill and avoid costly mistakes. .

Questions About Filing Someone Else’s Taxes?

Filing someone else’s taxes can be complicated, especially if they have significant assets and income. If you have questions or need legal advice about the person’s unique tax situation, contact Weisberg Kainen Mark, P.L. at (305) 374-5544 today.

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Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL

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