When you pay someone to do your income taxes (a “paid preparer”), ask them if they will be your IRS contact. This means that if the IRS has any questions regarding your tax return, the IRS can contact them with the concern. If you decide to do this, simply check the “yes” box in the Third Party Designee area of your income tax return. By having this designee, you are authorizing them to receive copies of any IRS notice or letters (i.e. correspondence) relating to your return. You also are authorizing your designee to call the IRS with any questions about the refund or processing of your return. Your designee will also be responsible for any math errors on your income tax return.
Certified Public Accountants, or independent public accounting firms, are usually third party designees. They maintain client files and handle all IRS tax concerns regarding their tax clients. As an example: every time a client receives an IRS Notice, the CPA (or his/her office staff under their direction) contacts the IRS regarding the matter. The client does not have to contact the IRS personally. The IRS Notice is then put into the client file.