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 they believe 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. Their job is to collect on delinquent tax accounts and secure delinquent tax returns. They understand tax and business laws, investigative techniques, and IRS enforcement procedures. Revenue officers can also help you enter an approved an approved repayment plan or collection alternative, like a partial pay installment agreement or an Offer in Compromise.
If the IRS assigns a revenue officer to your case,you should understand the pros and cons of dealing with them. It’s also a good idea to contact a skilled and experienced tax attorney to help protect your rights, advocate on your behalf, and be a firewall between you and the government.
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 Solutions
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. They want to quickly resolve delinquent tax liabilities, so they so use aggressive tactics. Use this desire to your advantage and you might be able to create a customized tax strategy that works for you. And, it’s always best to be polite and honest.
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.
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. You may even see them outside taking pictures of your home.
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 and should not be taken lightly.
You can expect aggressive tactics, including:
- Subpoenaing documents
- Pursuing search warrants
- Accessing your credit score
- Levying retirement funds or other accounts receivable
- Seizing your home and assets (personal and business)
- Intercepting payments from federal contracts
- Seizing your home and assets (personal and business)
- Placing liens on you or your property
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. If someone flashes a gold badge and says they are from the IRS, that’s not a revenue officer. They are an agent from the IRS Criminal Investigation Division (CID). Call a tax attorney immediately to protect your rights.
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.
You Should Protect Your Rights
Taxpayers have the right to representation at any time. You can assert this right during an initial interview with an IRS revenue agent. If an agent ries to question you, request an opportunity to consult with a lawyer and do not answer their questions.
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.