If you’re in a position where you’re forced to deal with an IRS revenue officer, you’re probably feeling stressed and anxious. These guys mean business, and they’re likely being very aggressive about your outstanding tax liability. However, you still have plenty of options if you keep your cool, remain upfront and honest, and follow their instructions to the best of your ability.
In this blog, we’ll discuss how to deal with an IRS revenue officer and who to contact to help you navigate these difficult relationships. But first, a quick note on revenue agents and revenue officers to clear up any confusion.
IRS Revenues Agents Are Different From IRS Revenue Officers
Most taxpayers are surprised to learn that IRS revenue agents are different from IRS revenue officers. IRS revenue agents are responsible for determining tax liability through an examination of your current and previous finances and financial dealings known as an audit. These are the people who determine the amount of tax debt you owe (if any at all).
Conversely, an IRS revenue officer is responsible for collecting a debt when other methods (letters, phone calls, tax levies, tax garnishments) have been unsuccessful. Usually, IRS revenue officers are not accountants and are less concerned with tax law — and thus, your rights as a taxpayer. Their job is to use their substantial discretion to either collect your debt through any means necessary or approve or deny a potential installment agreement or Offer in Compromise.
If the IRS assigns a revenue officer to your case, you must understand the pros and cons of dealing with them. It’s also a good idea to contact a skilled and experienced tax attorney for additional help along the way.
Pros of Dealing With an IRS Revenue Officer
First, the good news. Dealing with an IRS revenue officer isn’t all bad. In fact, there are several advantages to this arrangement that might benefit you in the long run. Here are some of those advantages.
You’re Dealing With a Dedicated Professional
For the taxpayer, the best part of being assigned an IRS revenue officer is that they are close by, focused on your case, and committed to swift resolution. Personal attention means that you have the chance to build a relationship with this person and help them better understand your tax situation. However, if you feel the revenue officer is acting in bad faith or treating you unfairly, you can try to escalate the situation to the Group Manager of your local IRS division for a more equitable arrangement.
You Can Negotiate Customized Tax Strategies
Ideally, a taxpayer with a tax liability would be able to work something out with the IRS before having to deal with an IRS revenue officer. But the good news is that, at this point, it’s still not too late to negotiate a mutually beneficial installment agreement or Offer in Compromise. Remember, these revenue officers are busy folks with large caseloads, so even though they’re aggressive, they want to come to a resolution as quickly as possible. So be polite, be honest, and work with the IRS to create a customized tax strategy that works for you.
Remember, these revenue officers are busy folks with large caseloads, so even though they’re aggressive, they want to come to a resolution as quickly as possible. So be polite, be honest, and work with the IRS to create a customized tax strategy that works for you.
Cons of Dealing With an IRS Revenue Officer
Dealing with an IRS revenue officer can be extremely challenging. They can be relentless in their pursuit of your tax liability and are determined to recoup as much of it as feasibly possible. Here are some of the negative aspects of being assigned an IRS revenue officer.
The Initial Meeting Is Often Stressful
As if life isn’t stressful enough, the first time you ever meet your IRS revenue officer will be in-person and unannounced. The Internal Revenue Manual mandates that they make this initial introduction face-to-face regardless of how awkward or inconvenient that might be for you. If you’re not at home or at work when they stop by, they will leave a card with their contact information. At this point, we strongly recommend contacting our offices so that we can begin working with your revenue officer on your behalf.
Expect Aggressive Collection Tactics
If you’ve been assigned a revenue officer, you likely owe more than $100,000 in taxes or the IRS’ automated collection system has been unable to collect your tax debt. The IRS’ decision to assign a revenue officer to your case represents a serious escalation in their efforts to recover your tax liability.
Not only can IRS revenue officers levy your property or garnish your accounts, but they can also take more aggressive collection actions, such as:
- Subpoenaing documents
- Pursuing search warrants
- Accessing your credit score
- Levying retirement funds or other accounts receivable
- Seizing your home and assets (personal and business)
And while an IRS revenue officer cannot arrest you, they can further escalate illegal activities to the IRS Criminal Investigations Division to pursue criminal charges.
You’ll Face Strict Timelines
As we’ve already stated, IRS revenue officers are eager to resolve your case so they can move on to the next one. These officers aren’t assessed on the amount of tax revenue they collect; their path to promotion is to close as many cases as possible.
This eagerness typically leads to strict and stringent timelines for you or your business to comply with their requests or proposals. Despite their insistence, you should never accept a tax resolution proposal that you are not fully comfortable with. Instead, you should seek the help of a skilled and experienced tax resolution attorney like the ones at S.H. Block Tax Services.
Contact S.H. Block Tax Services for Help Dealing With an IRS Revenue Officer
If a revenue officer has been assigned to your tax situation, S.H. Block Tax Services is here to help. We have decades of experience dealing with IRS revenue officers to either delay or minimize tax collection actions while working to negotiate a fair installment agreement or Offer in Compromise.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.