Confidentiality, Disclosure, and Authorized Representation

Taxpayer information is generally confidential. Taxpayers have the right to designate another individual to access the taxpayer’s confidential information. Taxpayers also have the right to authorize another person to act on their behalf. Because the Department takes confidentiality and information security seriously, certain forms must be completed to make either of these authorizations.

The information below describes the processes for sharing information and for granting authority to act on a taxpayer’s behalf. More information about each of these processes is available in applicable form instructions and in the applicable rules linked below.

  • The Iowa Department of Revenue is committed to protecting all state and federal tax information and personally identifiable information, such as social security numbers. Such information will not be released to the public.

    The Department is required by both state and federal law to keep tax returns and return information confidential. Department employees who improperly disclose confidential information may be subject to severe penalties, including fines and prison time.

    The federal statute which sets forth confidentiality requirements is section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code. The Iowa statutes are Iowa Code sections 422.20, 422.72, 450.68, 452A.63, and 453B.10.

  • State tax information that is otherwise confidential may be shared with a third party with the taxpayer’s permission. A taxpayer may authorize disclosure of confidential state information to a third party by using the Tax Information Disclosure Designation form. Only information covered by the scope of authority indicated on the Tax Information Disclosure Designation form may be discussed.

    The Department cannot release federal tax information. Taxpayers should contact the Internal Revenue Service for information regarding the release of federal tax information.

    Disclosure designations can be revoked at any time by notifying the Department in writing.

    Form more information, refer to Iowa Administrative Code rule 701—5.7.

  • A taxpayer that wishes to authorize a third party to act on their behalf may use the IDR Power of Attorney form. A taxpayer that wishes to authorize more than three individuals must utilize the IA 2848-A Multiple IDR Power of Attorney (14-106)* in conjunction with the IDR Power of Attorney form. Only information covered by the scope of authority indicated on the IDRPower of Attorney form may be discussed with or acted upon by the third party .While a taxpayer may authorize anyone to take many actions on their behalf, only those individuals listed in Iowa Administrative Code rule 701—7.6 may represent a taxpayer in a contested case proceeding following the Department’s denial of a protest.

    An IDR Power of Attorney can be revoked at any time by notifying the Department in writing. Filing a new IDR Power of Attorney form automatically revokes a prior authorization for the same tax periods, matters, or permits. If the taxpayer files a new form to add additional representatives, be sure to list all persons intended to be representatives.

    For more information, refer to Iowa Administrative Code rule 701—7.6.

    A Representative Certification form is used where the representative has authority to act on behalf of the taxpayer outside of the IDR Power of Attorney form. See the next section for more information.

    * = Due to updated guidance from the IRS, the IA 2848 IDR Power of Attorney form, Representative Certification form, and Tax Information Disclosure Designation form must be signed by hand or via a digital signature with a digital certificate. Stamped or typed signatures are not accepted.

  • Some individuals have the authority to act on behalf of a taxpayer outside of being granted that authority on the IDR Power of Attorney form. This authority may come from an appointment by the taxpayer (ex. a general or durable power of attorney) or a court of law (ex. a guardian or receiver). The authority may also be by virtue of a position that the individual holds (ex. a CEO acting on behalf of the corporation for which they are CEO). Those individuals should use a Representative Certification form to inform IDR of such authority. Persons that should use this form include the following:

    • General or Durable Power of Attorney
    • Guardian, Conservator, or Custodian appointed by a court
    • Received appointed pursuant to Iowa Code chapter 680
    • Licensed attorney appearing on behalf of the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s estate in a court proceeding
    • Executor or personal representative
    • Individual holding one of the following roles within a corporation, association, partnership, or other entity:
      • President/CEO of a corporation
      • Any other officer of a corporation/association
      • Designated partner authorized to act on behalf of a partnership
      • Person authorized to act on behalf of an LLC in tax matters
    • Parent or guardian of a minor taxpayer in cases when the parent or guardian has signed the minor’s tax return
    • Person authorized to act on behalf of a government entity with regard to the government entity's own tax matters

    Be aware that many of the above listed categories have particular documentation required to substantiate authority. See the Representative Certification (14-108)* for details on required documentation.

    For more information, refer to Iowa Administrative Code rule 701—7.6.

    * = Due to updated guidance from the IRS, the IA 2848 IDR Power of Attorney form, Representative Certification form, and Tax Information Disclosure Designation form must be signed by hand or via a digital signature with a digital certificate. Stamped or typed signatures are not accepted.

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    • If you are seeking information that you believe is public in nature, submit a Public Records Request
    • If you want to grant permission to a representative to obtain confidential information and documents about yourself, fill out an IA 8821 Tax Information Disclosure Designation (14-104)*.
    • If you are requesting a copy of a return, fill out an IA 4506 Request for Copy of Tax Return (95-504).
    • If you want to grant authority to a representative to both obtain confidential information and make decisions on your behalf, fill out an IA 2848 IDR Power of Attorney (14-101)*.
    • If you need to notify the Department of your authority to act on behalf of a taxpayer as any of the following, fill out the Representative Certification (14-108)*:
    • General or Durable Power of Attorney
    • Guardian, Conservator, or Custodian appointed by a Court
    • Receiver appointed pursuant to Iowa Code chapter 680
    • Licensed attorney appearing on behalf of the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s estate in a court proceeding
    • Executor or personal representative
    • Individual holding one of the following roles:
    • President/CEO of corporation/association, or any other officer of the corporation or association with the president or CEO’s certification
    • Designated partner authorized to act on behalf of a partnership
    • Person authorized to act on behalf of an LLC in tax matters
    • Parent or guardian of minor taxpayer in cases when the parent or guardian has signed the minor’s tax return
    • Government representative
    Scenario Public Records Request Tax Information Disclosure Designation Form IDR Power of Attorney Form Representative Certification Form
    Taxpayer seeking to allow IDR to disclose taxpayer information to family member   X    
    Taxpayer seeking to designate an attorney or tax preparer or other person to obtain information and make decisions regarding tax matters     X  
    Taxpayer is seeking to allow IDR to release confidential information to a legislator or government agency representative   X    
    Guardian stepping into the shoes of a taxpayer       X
    Designated partner acting on behalf of the partnership       X
    Executor or personal representative appointed to manage tax matters of a deceased taxpayer       X

    * = Due to updated guidance from the IRS, the IA 2848 IDR Power of Attorney form, Representative Certification form, and Tax Information Disclosure Designation form must be signed by hand or via a digital signature with a digital certificate. Stamped or typed signatures are not accepted.

  • Subject to the limitations of the confidentiality laws described above, as well as in the Iowa Code and Iowa Administrative Code, some records in the possession of the Department are public records.

    The Iowa Department of Revenue provides access to records in the custody of the Department through Public Records Requests. Requests can be submitted:

    Requests must clearly define the specific records you would like to see. This includes specific search terms, keywords, and date ranges, which help improve response time from the Department. The Department may ask clarifying questions about the search terms you provide before completing its search for your requested records.

    Timeline

    The Iowa Open Records Act in Iowa Code section 22.8(4)(d) allows the Department up to 20 calendar days to determine whether a record is public or confidential.

    After determining if the record requested is public or confidential, the Department strives to fulfill the request as soon as resources allow.

    Cost

    The Department provides up to 10 paper copies free of charge. Additional paper copies of records are 20 cents per side. If files can be provided electronically, copying fees will not apply.

    All records must be reviewed by Department staff attorneys prior to release. An hourly fee may be charged for actual agency expenses in searching for requested records when the combined time required for searching, supervision and copying is in excess of one-half hour.

    Estimates of additional paper photocopies or processing time will be provided to the requestor prior to completing the work.

  • In most cases, the Department is precluded from releasing any tax information, including returns and return information, and subpoenas, orders, and other processes that request confidential tax information are void. Iowa Code section 422.72(3)(b).

    A subpoena meeting the requirements of Iowa Code 422.72(7)(a) may be submitted to:

    By Mail:

    Iowa Department of Revenue
    Security and Disclosure Unit
    PO Box 10460
    Des Moines, IA 50306

    In Person:

    Iowa Department of Revenue
    Hoover State Office Building - 1st Floor
    1305 E Walnut St.
    Des Moines, IA 50319