Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your CAF Number

CAF gives individuals a straightforward way to support charities through their pay. It also saves taxpayers money and makes a more significant impact on charities.

The IRS has changed the instructions to Form 2848 and Form 8821, making it easier to link your CAF online. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your CAF number.

Getting a CAF Number

How to get a CAF number? Obtaining your CAF number is one of the first steps to becoming an IRS-authorized third-party representative. This nine-digit identifying number assign the first time you file an 8821 or 2848 form. It is with the IRS and will be included on all future documents filed. The IRS will send you a letter notifying you of your CAF number; you should use this on all future third-party submissions.

The CAF system is a central repository of local campus account numbers, attributes, and fund group codes. It maps these to a main chart of accounts for consolidated financial reporting and is updated monthly. The system also accepts campus input during fiscal closing and other exceptional cases.

CAF’s mission is to help accelerate society to be more fair, sustainable, and future thinking by making it easier for donors to give globally and locally confidently. It also provides regulatory expertise and enables effective cross-border giving through charity validation and banking services via its wholly owned UK subsidiary, CAF Bank.

Getting a PIN

A credit card PIN can add an extra layer of security for consumers. When a cardholder chooses to use a PIN, they should remember not to share the number with anyone and avoid writing it down on personal documents that would-be thieves may find.

A four-digit PIN helps secure financial transactions, typically for bank cards and ATM withdrawals. Depend on the institution, it set up during the account opening process or later by phone or in person.

It is essential to pick a number that is easy for the account holder to remember but difficult for fraudsters to guess. A memorable date like a birthday or anniversary can help, but choosing a random number is best. If a PIN is forgotten, the account holder can contact their card issuer for assistance. Some banks also allow customers to view their PIN in the online account portal.

Linking Your CAF to Your Tax Pro Account

The IRS allows tax professionals to link their CAF number to their Tax Pro Account. This is designed to help speed up the process for obtaining authorization requests.

The tax professional will enter their name, CAF number, and address. The application will interface with the CAF database in real-time to validate all entries. Once the taxpayer approves the request, it will be submitted to the IRS and appear instantly on the tax professional’s and client’s online accounts.

This service is only available for taxpayers with an existing CAF number. The IRS says they are working to expand this functionality and other features for the Tax Pro Account. At this time, email notifications are limited to only those approval requests approved by the taxpayer. However, the IRS is hoping to add more messages to the list. Tax professionals also have the option to save a draft of an authorization request and resume it later.

Submitting POAs and TIAs Online

The IRS took a big step in the summer of 2021 to expand authorization services to taxpayers and tax professionals by launching the Tax Pro Account with its first feature of initiating POAs or TIAs by simply checking a box.

You can get third-party authorizations processed in real time once you link a CAF number to your Tax Pro Account. This gives your client access to their representation status, and you can withdraw old POAs or TIAs in real time, too. To find more details, click here.

When submitting POAs, you should ensure the name on the CC INOLES screen matches the correct TIN. If not, use the IAT Letter tool to send Letter 1727C, Power of Attorney Representative Number, to inform the third party a CAF number assign in error.

Also, you should only select a person you trust to act on your behalf. Otherwise, they might make unwise decisions that hurt your interests and assets. To prevent this, you can include a clause in your POA that states that they must regularly report to you on the financial transactions they are responsible to complete on your behalf.

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