What Does an IRS Revenue Officer Do?
The duty of an IRS Revenue Officer is collect unpaid taxes by any means necessary. They are granted extensive enforcement powers.
Here, we’ll explain what to do if you have been assigned an IRS Revenue Officer.
Unexpected Visits from an IRS Revenue Officer
You may first become aware that an officer has been assigned to your case when they show up, unannounced, at your home or business.
The initial visit can be alarming. Your instincts may be to rid yourself of the Revenue Officer as soon as possible. You may make remarks that you regret. These are typical reactions to the surprise of finding an IRS representative on your doorstep.
However, keep in mind that how you interact with the IRS Revenue Officer can sway your case, to your advantage or otherwise. We always find it is best to be professional, responsive and courteous.
The job of a Revenue Officer is to recover tax debt owed to the IRS. They are motivated to close out your case and need to constantly demonstrate progress in collecting your tax liability. Often, they have a heavy caseload. The officer will typically have little grace for what they see as noncooperation.
This is not to suggest that you should answer every question or submit to every demand of the IRS Revenue Officer. Instead, let the officer know that your tax representative will be answering their questions and negotiating on your behalf. Then, get a tax professional on your side as soon as possible and grant them power of attorney.
The fact that you have been assigned a Revenue Officer means that the IRS is serious about collecting an actual or perceived tax liability. Ignoring or attempting to deal with the situation yourself could lead to escalating penalties and an outcome not in your favor.
You can choose to be represented by an attorney or another tax professional. In either case, when you grant your representative power of attorney, they will deal with the IRS directly.
Remember that the Revenue Officer can seize your bank account, wages, retirement accounts and receivables; they can place a lien on any property, making claim to your equity in cars, homes and even equipment. Your best bet is to respond promptly and professionally, through a representative who can advocate for your full taxpayer rights.
Preparing for an IRS Revenue Officer Visit
In some cases, you may suspect that a visit from a Revenue Officer is in your future, but it hasn’t happened yet. All the above advice applies to you, but you won’t be taken by surprise.
If you were not at home and the Revenue Officer left a business card, note the deadline on the card to respond. Make sure you have retained a representative to contact the officer by that date.
If you anticipate a visit from a Revenue Officer, but they haven’t yet left a card, be prepared by knowing your rights:
- The officer is not legally permitted into a private residence or private business, except for public areas of your business
- If the Revenue Officer brings documents, do not sign on the spot. As with all other interactions with the IRS, use your tax representative as the intermediary. If you must engage with the IRS directly, do so only after consultation with your representative.
- The officer may present terms to resolve your back tax debt. This first offer is almost certainly not the best offer you can secure. Again, do not make any verbal or written agreement without consulting your tax representative.
Information the IRS Revenue Officer May Require
The Revenue Officer will often require full financial statements with supporting documentation. Now is the time to file all outstanding tax returns and submit any current estimated tax payments. Before the IRS is willing to negotiate, they require full compliance.
If we are working on your case before the IRS Revenue Officer is assigned, we will always recommend these compliance steps first. We like to be prepared when the officer does come calling.
We are also proactive in proposing a plan and timelines to the Revenue Officer, effectively taking control of the process. This preempts unrealistic timelines for what is often extensive financial disclosure.
What will the IRS Revenue Officer request?
They may issue a Summary of Taxpayer Contact (Form 9297), which will itemize the documents and information the IRS requires.
A deadline will be set for completing this financial disclosure. Always respond by the deadline, or have your attorney request an extension. Otherwise, the Revenue Officer may issue a summons for the information, garnish your wages or levy your bank.
It is also essential that your financial disclosure be completed correctly by a tax professional. This disclosure becomes the basis on which the IRS negotiates the outcome of your case. If filled out incorrectly, you may miss opportunities for a favorable payment plan, Offer in Compromise or Currently Not Collectible status.
It’s important to note that IRS Revenue Officers are rewarded for closing cases, not for the amount they bring in. Their priority is to expedite your case and they would rather you pay less at the end than drag the process out.
Get Help Negotiating with an IRS Revenue Officer
It is impossible to overemphasize the importance of having professional representation when you are assigned a Revenue Officer. Look for a tax team with extensive IRS experience and a sterling reputation.
The Precision Tax Relief team includes Larry Nagy, a highly-experienced tax attorney with an outstanding track record of resolving difficult tax liabilities. He is one of the top legal experts representing clients facing a debt crisis.
Larry is supported by a team of licensed Enrolled Agents and Certified Public Accountants. Together, our team can negotiate the best possible outcome with the IRS Revenue Officer assigned to your case.
You are in good hands with Precision Tax Relief. In over 700 reviews — more than any other tax relief agency — our team has earned a 98% satisfaction rating with clients. Contact us for a free initial consultation to find out how we can resolve your IRS tax debt.
Get Help Negotiating With An IRS Revenue Officer
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