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.


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