caf number

Understanding the CAF Number: A Tax Pro’s Guide


The Centralized Authorization File (CAF) is a database that the Internal Revenue Service uses to manage information regarding professionals appointed to act on behalf of others. The CAF number is not an authorization in and of itself. Rather, it identifies the file containing any legal authorizations that have been filed by a tax resolution professional. With it, IRS personnel can look up whether the tax professional has the authority to access the taxpayer’s data, rather than having to ask them to fax the signed authorization each time. Anyone working with tax resolution clients will want to get a CAF number to save time when communicating with the IRS.


Whether calling to request information or downloading IRS transcripts through e-Services, it will save a ton of time. Your CAF number is nine digits long and is unique to you. It is different from your TIN (Taxpayer Identification Number), EIN (Employer Identification Number), or PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number). As a professional specializing in tax resolution, you may need all of them.

How Do I Get a CAF Number?

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David Stone - author

David Stone​​

Helping Accountants Save Time at IRS Solutions​

David Stone, an enrolled agent and founder of IRS Solutions, leverages his comprehensive IRS experience to empower tax professionals in navigating complex tax disputes. A proud alumnus of California State University Northridge, David’s journey began as a Revenue Officer at the IRS, where he embraced diverse roles, including working the lien desk and becoming an Offer in Compromise specialist. His transition from the IRS to founding IRS Solutions Valencia was driven by a vision to simplify tax resolution. David’s ingenuity led to the creation of IRS Solutions Software, embodying his commitment to providing effective tools and sharing his extensive knowledge with professionals in the field. As the bestselling author of “Tax Breaks for the Rich and Famous” and “The Great Tax Escape,” David’s expertise continues to guide business owners and accountants alike.

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