Can you e-file for an incarcerated person?

May 14, 2021 by Steve Banner, EA, MBA
Form 2848

Can you e-file for an incarcerated person?


Hello Rachel,

The person can actually e-file for themselves online if they have internet access in prison. But if they are unwilling or unable to do so, you can do it for them. But just as in many matters related to taxes, there are a few steps to work through.

The first step is for the incarcerated person to give you signed permission to file a Federal tax return on their behalf. You will need to go to the IRS website at and download Form 2848 “Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative.”

You will then need to complete the form and send it to the person in prison. They must sign and date the form and return it to you as proof that they have appointed you as their representative to file their tax return.

If the incarcerated person has to file a State return, you will need to check with the tax authorities in that state to see whether they will accept IRS Form 2848 or whether you need to download an equivalent form for that state.

You can learn more about Form 2848 by visiting this link on the IRS website.

Best wishes,

Tags: e-file, form 2848



Steve Banner, EA, MBA
Tax Content Developer


Steve Banner began his career in the field of income tax in 1977 and has since gathered business experience in a variety of countries and cultures. In addition to the United States, he has lived and worked for extended periods in Australia, Saudi Arabia, Canada, and Sweden. Along the way he studied Adult Education and earned a Bachelor of Education, Master of Educational Administration, and MBA. He joined TaxAudit in 2016, where he is a Tax Content Developer.


Recent Articles

Refund check laying on top of a $100 bill
An IRS Notice CP32A is informing you that your refund check has not been claimed. To resolve this notice, you must call to request a new refund check.
Woman Reading Letter
IRS Notice CP21C is sent out when a taxpayer requests to make a change to their tax return. The notice informs the taxpayer that the change has been completed.
House for Sale
Details regarding the disposition of grouping of activities in order to more easily satisfy the material participation requirements for the RE Pro status.
Man opening a letter
IRS CP06A notice asks you to verify the Premium Tax Credit you claimed on your tax return with documentation. How should you properly respond to this notice?
This blog does not provide legal, financial, accounting, or tax advice. The content on this blog is “as is” and carries no warranties. TaxAudit does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, reliability, and completeness of the content of this blog. Content may become out of date as tax laws change. TaxAudit may, but has no obligation to monitor or respond to comments.