Maybe I’m not tech savvy enough to understand, but when the IRS announces that their Centralized Authorization File system (CAF) will be down for “routine maintenance,” I tend to imagine them dusting, mopping and shredding. Actually, this planned outage is something that happens every year at the end of December.
CAF is responsible for processing Power of Attorney forms. A tax attorney or other tax professional is not permitted access to a taxpayer account without an active POA. CAF will be down from December 26, 2012 through January 2, 2013 so no new POA forms will be received or processed in that office until after January 2nd. However, a taxpayer account can still be accessed by faxing a POA form directly to the service center of the IRS representative you are working with.
Of course, “routine maintenance” is just a code word; we all know what is really going on this time of year. IRS personnel are decorating their cubicles, playing Secret Santa, and throwing office parties.