Form 8821: Tax Information Authorization

Form 8821, officially titled "Tax Information Authorization," is a document issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that allows you to grant access to your confidential tax information to a designated person or entity. This access can be for inspection purposes only, or it can allow the designee to receive copies of your tax transcripts and certain IRS notices.

What are the Common Uses of Form 8821?

Tax Preparers: Many taxpayers use Form 8821 to authorize their tax preparers to access prior year tax returns and transcripts needed to prepare current year filings.

Lenders: When applying for a loan, a lender might request access to your tax information to verify your income and tax filing history. Form 8821 allows you to share this information securely.

Investment Professionals: Certain investment professionals may require access to your tax information to make informed recommendations or complete tax-related transactions on your behalf. Form 8821 facilitates this controlled access.

Who can I designate on Form 8821?

You can designate any individual, corporation, firm, organization, or partnership as your authorized representative. This could be your tax preparer, accountant, financial advisor, a family member assisting with your taxes, or a representative from a lending institution.

What information can my designee access?

The specific information your designee can access depends on what you authorize on the form. You can choose to allow access to your tax returns, transcripts, account information, payment history, and specific notices from the IRS.

How long does Form 8821 stay valid?

The validity of Form 8821 depends on how you complete the form. You can specify an expiration date, or it can remain valid indefinitely. You can also revoke the authorization at any time.

Is Form 8821 safe to use?

Yes, Form 8821 is a secure way to grant access to your tax information. By carefully selecting who you designate and specifying the information and timeframe for access, you can minimize any risk.

Is Form 8821 required to file my tax return?

No, Form 8821 is not required for filing your tax return. It is solely for granting access to your tax information to authorized individuals or entities.

Can I revoke access granted through Form 8821?

Yes, you can revoke access at any time by submitting a new Form 8821 indicating the revocation.