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Publication 947


Annual Filing Season Program:(p19)
The Annual Filing Season Program is a voluntary program that allows limited practice rights for return preparers who are not attorneys, certified public accountants, or enrolled agents. For additional details, see Annual Filing Season Program, earlier, or go to for more information.
Annual Filing Season Program Record of Completion:(p19)
The IRS issues an Annual Filing Season Program Record of Completion to return preparers who obtain a certain number of continuing education hours in preparation for a specific tax year. See above under Annual Filing Season Program for more information.
An agent authorized by a person under a power of attorney to perform certain act(s) or kind(s) of acts for that person.
CAF number:(p19)
The Centralized Authorization File number issued by the IRS to each representative whose power of attorney, and each designee whose tax information authorization, has been recorded on the CAF system.
Centralized Authorization File (CAF) System:(p19)
The computer file system containing information regarding the authority of individuals appointed under powers of attorney or persons designated under the tax information authorization system. This system gives IRS personnel quicker access to authorization information.
Circular 230 individual:(p19)
Generally, an attorney, CPA, enrolled agent, enrolled retirement plan agent, Annual Filing Season Program Record of Completion Holder, Appraiser, or Enrolled Actuary authorized to practice before the IRS. Other individuals may qualify to practice temporarily or engage in limited practice before the IRS; however, they are not referred to as practitioners.
The Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.
Durable power of attorney:(p19)
A power of attorney that is not subject to a time limit and that will continue in force after the incapacitation or incompetency of the principal (the taxpayer).
Enrolled agent:(p19)
Any individual who is licensed under the provisions of Treasury Department Circular No. 230 to practice before the IRS.
Federal tax matter:(p19)
Any matter concerning the application or interpretation of (1) a revenue provision as defined in section 6110(i)(1)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code; (2) any provision of law impacting a person’s obligations under the internal revenue laws and regulations, including but not limited to the person’s liability to pay tax or obligation to file returns; or (3) any other law or regulation administered by the IRS.
Any trustee, executor, administrator, receiver, or guardian that stands in the position of a taxpayer and acts as the taxpayer, not as a representative.
General power of attorney:(p19)
A power of attorney that authorizes the attorney-in-fact to perform any and all acts the taxpayer can perform.
Government officer or employee:(p19)
An individual who is an officer or employee of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of a state or of the United States Government; an officer or employee of the District of Columbia; a Member of Congress.
Limited power of attorney:(p19)
A power of attorney that limits the attorney-in-fact to perform only certain specified act(s).
Office of Professional Responsibility:(p19)
The Office of Professional Responsibility generally has responsibility for matters related to practitioner conduct, and exclusive responsibility for discipline, including disciplinary proceedings, sanctions and reinstatement. The Return Preparer Office is responsible for matters related to the issuance of PTINs, acting on applications for enrollment, and administering competency testing and continuing education for designated groups.
Recognized representative:(p19)
An individual who is recognized to represent a taxpayer before the IRS.
Unenrolled return preparer:(p19)
An individual other than an attorney, CPA, enrolled agent, enrolled retirement plan agent, or enrolled actuary who for compensation prepares and signs a taxpayer's return as the preparer, or who prepares a return but is not required (by the instructions to the return or regulations) to sign the return. Some unenrolled return preparers may hold annual filing season program records of completion. After December 31, 2015, only AFSP record of completion holders will be authorized to represent taxpayers with returns prepared and signed after that date.