When signing up for payroll services that include tax filing, you’ll be asked to fill out Form 8655. The company won’t be able to file or deposit your taxes until you submit the form.
So, what is IRS Form 8655 used for? Find out below.
Form 8655 purpose
An IRS reporting agent can use your EIN and sign forms for you. The reporting agent might be an accountant or a payroll tax filing service.
Specifically, Form 8655 authorizes reporting agents to:
- Sign and file certain forms
- Make deposits and payments for certain returns
- Receive duplicate copies of tax information, notices, and other communication from the IRS
- Provide the IRS with information to aid in penalty relief determinations
You must complete Form 8655 and submit it to the IRS to give the reporting agent permission to do those tasks.
When you give a reporting agent permission to take over filing and make deposits for returns, you are not relieved from the responsibility of making sure all forms and deposits are submitted on time. For example, if the reporting agent is late paying a deposit, you are responsible.
You can sign up for the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). When you log into your EFTPS account, you can verify that deposits were made on your behalf.
Form 8655 instructions
You can find the full instructions for Form 8655 with the form itself. Below is some basic information about the IRS authorization form’s parts and how to submit it.
What is on Form 8655?
The following are the sections of Form 8655.
This section is where you will add information about your business, including your name, EIN, address, and contact person.
Here you will enter information about the business that will submit returns and deposits on your behalf. You will need their business name, EIN, address, and contact person.
Authorization of Reporting Agent To Sign and File Returns
Choose which tax returns you want the reporting agent to file for you. Form 8655 lists several forms that you can select. In the space next to each chosen form, enter when the reporting agency can begin filing forms. For annual forms, you will enter the year the reporting agency can start with. For quarterly forms, you will enter the month and year the reporting agency can start with. The Form 8655 instructions have more information about how to format the dates.
Authorization of Reporting Agent To Make Deposits and Payments
Choose the tax returns your reporting agent can make deposits and payments for. Like the previous section, you must enter a start date next to your chosen forms. Once again, see the instructions to learn how to format the date.
Disclosure of Information to Reporting Agents
If you want your reporting agent to receive copies of tax information, notices, and other IRS communications, check the boxes in this section.
In this section, you can give your reporting agent authority to receive confidential taxpayer information to assist in responding to certain IRS notices.
State or Local Authorization
You can check the box in this section to give the reporting agent permission to sign and file state and local returns.
Even though you give the reporting agent authority to file forms and make deposits, you are still responsible for making sure everything is completed on time. The Authorization Agreement outlines your responsibilities and makes sure you understand what you are electing. You will sign the form under the agreement.
How do you file Form 8655?
You can file Form 8655 with the IRS by mail or fax. You can find the correct address and fax number in the form’s general instructions.
Where can I get Form 8655 help?
Need help filling out your Form 8655? Check the form’s instructions page. It contains information about how to properly complete and submit the form. The instructions also direct you to other IRS publications where you can learn more about some of the topics.
You can also talk to your prospective reporting agent. They might be able to help you complete the form.
Patriot Software can be a reporting agent for you. When you sign up for the Full Service Payroll software, Patriot will calculate, collect, remit, and file payroll taxes on your behalf. Start a free trial today!
This article is updated from its original publication date of 12/4/2014.