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Power of Attorney


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Hi Everyone,

I have a client whose husband is in prison and the wife has full Power of Attorney.

I paper filed them MFJ last year (2008) and submitted a copy of the Power of Attorney (Fed & Calif).

I will file them MFJ again this year. My question is, do I have to keep paper filing this client and include a copy of the Power of Attorney every year, or can I e-file this return?

Also, does the wife just sign his name where needed ? (Form 8879, etc.) for my files.

Thanks.

Jerry

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I think filing the return electronically is fine. I would attach a copy of the POA to the 8879 for my records. Remember the 8879 is the digital signature form that via the PIN states the client has signed the return. Kinda a hard for the IRS to tell who actually signed the return. But again, be sure to keep a copy of the POA on file and advise your client to do the same.

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>>does the wife just sign his name where needed ?<<

She can NEVER "sign his name where needed." If she has a valid Power of Attorney, she could sign her own name with the label "attorney in fact." Note however that according to the instructions to Form 1040 "you must have a power of attorney attached that specifically authorizes the representative to sign your return." Most general powers of attorney do NOT meet the requirements of federal law in this. The IRS recommends use of Form 2848. In any case, you are not required to accept a power of attorney, and in my opinion you should not do so unless it is properly worded.

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