Providing transcripts for bankrupcty attorneys

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    Hi Eric,

    I want to launch a small campaign targeting bankruptcy attorneys in order to provide them with transcripts. On the 2848 to get the transcripts, is the bankrupcty attorney listed as the POA, or would I be listed as the POA? Also, is a standard contract used to execute this transaction? I wasn’t sure if you got the taxpayers written permission beforehand to pull the transcripts for the bankrupcty attorney. Thanks a lot!


    Hey Joshua,

    I think if you explained what you were going to do with the taxpayer, explain to them that you were going to provide the bankruptcy attorney with copies, and then execute a simple one page authorization putting that agreement/waiver in writing that includes the IRC 7216 disclosure and consent language, you should be OK.

    A couple of issues:

    1. I assume that you are going to charge for this service, correct? Where I see a small flaw is: For example, if you list the BK atty as the POA, it takes you out of the service you are attempting to provide, no? i.e. with the POA, the BK attorney can order it themselves. I am sure your business model is predicated on your being able to deliver it much faster, but a BK attorney who otherwise knows about the tax world can use that to just ice you out of the process.

    2. Also, a full blown 2848 POA implies a lot of other responsibilities that the BK attorney would probably not want to deal with, and in many cases, may not even be aware of. So, depending on the level of tax knowledge the particular BK attorney has, there may be a duty to disclose on your part on what the responsibilities in signing a 2848 POA imply.

    3. depending on the scope of your representation, have you considered an 8821 representation instead vs a full blown 2848 POA?

    Robert Loh


    I think you may want to approach this in a different manner. Instead of just offering a service pulling transcripts, why not approach it as providing tax related advisory services? Pulling the transcript is the easy part, but assisting with tax planning/compliance issues can offer more value.

    In my experience working with bankruptcy attorneys this has shaken out in two main ways.

    1) In cases where you’re working for a Chapter 7 Trustee (almost always a bankruptcy attorney), there will be a myriad of tax issues that need to get straightened out before new returns can be prepared. Some of this can be reconstructing books and records, investigating a companies operations, identifying “ghost” employees or “off the books help.”

    2) In working for bankruptcy attorney who represent individual filers or companies (debtor side work), you’ll have the client to sign off on the forms, but they will still need help getting in compliance as focusing on taxes often takes a back seat when the rest of the financial house starts to crumble.


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