Discussion:Power of Attorneys and Subpoena

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Discussion Forum Index --> Basic Tax Questions --> Power of Attorneys and Subpoena


Discussion Forum Index --> Tax Questions --> Power of Attorneys and Subpoena

Ztom (talk|edits) said:

3 October 2011
Got phone call from unknown person with POA, asking me to send electronically the back taxes for her parents. The power of attorney does not state anything about prior taxes, it just states that tax matters could be handled by daughter. The POA is for the Taxpayer, the spouse just died(this Year) My conclusion is bring in proper ID and I will relase this year, which has not been completed., The daughter has become very nasty and has Pissed me off (you know the type.) I am not going to release and prior taxes because I dont see anything in the POA that mentions prior. Would like to hear feedback. Thanks

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

3 October 2011
If I knew the client was getting senile or ill, I would tend to be very cooperative. If I was suspicious or didn't know the POA holder, yes, I would ask for identification. I don't think you should hold out prior year's info, the executor for the deceased needs to know that prior years were filed properly, and we all know that to do a good job on this year's taxes, you need to review the most recent 3 year's returns.

Let it go with proper ID and a copy of the POA. If your client is still able to communicate, you can always get his permission via a 7216 Disclosure form. If the client isn't able to communicate, then honor the POA without it.

NMexEA (talk|edits) said:

3 October 2011
And I sure wouldn't do it based on a phone call. Curious; the title of the thread is "POA and subpoena". Has someone used the "s" word?

CrowJD (talk|edits) said:

3 October 2011
Maybe I have not had enough coffee today, but I am having a difficult time making sense of the OPs fact pattern.

I assume this POA was prepared by an attorney or they copied it from a book, or something like that right? It's not an IRS form, right? I assume it is not an IRS form.

First, if the power of attorney gives her power to handle tax matters for the principal, then this would mean all tax matters. It's meant to be general.

Second, did you get a call from the daughter? You used the word "unkown"; if that's so, then make her known by asking her to send you a copy of her DL. Or ask her to appear in your office and show you her DL. Use common sense here and try to cooperate. There are ways of determining her identity to a reasonable degree of certainty.

Try your best to take your personal feelings out of this. Ztom, do not confuse what the IRS requires in a POA, and what is acceptable in the normal practice of law (this is the law of agency, principal and agent).

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

3 October 2011
CrowJD, for my edification, DL means:

A) Down Low (as in "keep this on the down low").

B) Dirty Laundry.

C) Daughter's List - like a genealogy tree, proving her provenance.

D) Debutante Listing - again, provenance.

CrowJD (talk|edits) said:

3 October 2011
Driver's license.  :) Passport. Family geneology. Birth certificate. What have you. Etc. :)

I have no idea how the word "subpoena" is involved either. I'm afraid to ask. Sounds like the blind leadind the blind.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

3 October 2011
I'm glad to hear it is Driver's License and not dirty laundry. First, I can't see someone wanting to copy it, and second, I can see some people not wanting to return the originals.

Bracket Creep (talk|edits) said:

3 October 2011
I can assure you, Kevin, that I haven't the faintest idea who you are referring to.

CrowJD (talk|edits) said:

3 October 2011
I have done transactions before where an agent stands in for a principal and I've always asked for a DL from the agent. The copy remained in my file for reference. If they refused, the'd have to get me something else I was satisified with.

If they don't like it, tough cookies, I guess they don't want to use the POA. However, in all cases I'd try to be as reasonable as possible, especially when it concerns family. Common sense comes into play.

I also agree with Kevin's remark that IF the principal is able to communicate, then get the appropriate IRS form as he mentioned.

Tax Writer (talk|edits) said:

3 October 2011
I agree with Crow. I've honored a POA from a family member, especially a child when it was obvious that the parents were elderly and having a difficult time managing their affairs. That being said, it's always good to CYA.

Taxea (talk|edits) said:

5 October 2011
I would start with...I provided the required copy of each prior year returns to the client who should have them filed somewhere. Then "due to circumstances as they are the current year has not been completed; are you asking that I continue to prepare it?"

If you are unable to locate the prior copies my fee for additional copies is XXXX. Let me know when you will be coming by to pick them up and be sure to bring ID with you. You could also send the required 7216 form to be completed and returned to you.

CrowJD (talk|edits) said:

5 October 2011
My apologies to Ztom. I might have overlooked something.

If the daughter holds a broadly worded general POA, can't she sign the 7216 as agent under POA for the mother?

NMexEA (talk|edits) said:

5 October 2011
I've started demanding a DNA sample and a retina scan. And THAT'S just to deliver the morning paper!

NMexEA (talk|edits) said:

5 October 2011
My spouse doesn't think she should have to undergo the DNA test but I say you just can't be too careful these days.

Twaynepar1954 (talk|edits) said:

8 October 2011
Powers of attorney, form 2848 are year specific. If there are no years listed, you cannot release anything without the written permission of the surviving spouse! This is very serious. You would be in serious trouble if you disclosed anything and later it was determined that the father never wanted the daughter to have it.

The same set of circumstances happened to me and it wasn't pretty. I had to meet with the Texas State Board. I was cleared of wrong doing but with a warning. The Federal Disclosure Laws apply to all preparation businesses.

Your post says nothing about the father being ill or incompetent.

Please contact the Director of Practice regarding a safe avenue to proceed. Good intentions can come back to bite ya!

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