IRS revenue officers are the most senior collections agents in the IRS. IRS revenue officers handle those delinquent accounts that the IRS places the highest priority on, so much so that the government has assigned a local agent to specifically work the case in order to collect what is owed to the IRS. Generally, these individuals are highly trained and will incorporate an arsenal of tools and tactics in order to resolve the account in the favor of the IRS. They can retrieve third party records through summons, contact your employer, show up at your home or work, and seize a variety of assets (wages, accounts receivable, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, merchant accounts, etc…) in order to satisfy your tax liability. Having a revenue officer assigned to your collection account is a serious matter and it is important to take that person and their collection efforts seriously. Failure to do so may end you up on the bad side of the revenue officer and may make your life extremely difficult.
Many revenue officers are nice people and there some I would consider professional friends. However, I am under no illusions when I have to deal with a revenue officer. They usually have the upper hand when negotiating a resolution with the taxpayer and some take advantage of it. Some will use the threat of harsh collection tactics to intimidate the taxpayer into paying more per month than they may feel comfortable doing. Others can be deceptive. I do not mean to cast revenue officers in a negative light, as many of them are hard working people who are just trying to do their job. However, there have been multiple instances of revenue officer abuse documented throughout the years and it is best to be vigilant when dealing with them. If a revenue officer has been assigned to your case, it means that you are considered a high priority collection case within the IRS (they usually do not send revenue officers after people with small balances or those who are low priority). As such, revenue officer cases can be more time consuming and much more difficult to resolve. Generally, I recommend that taxpayers seek out the help of professional representation to deal with a revenue officer matter. However, I also realize professional representation is not an option for some people. As such, I wanted to take the opportunity to share some of the strategies that I have used throughout the years.
Tax resolution services for small businesses and mid-size businesses (business tax resolution)
Tax resolution services for self-employed individuals and independent contractors (individual tax resolution)
Tax resolution services for individuals and families (individual tax resolution- W2 and wage earners)
Legal representation before IRS collections
 Although quite technical and a bit much for the casual reader, the full job description and requirements for an IRS revenue officer can be found here: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/classifying-general-schedule-positions/standards/1100/gs1169.pdf
 This is an excellent critique written by the taxpayer advocate describing some of the problems with IRS revenue officers: https://www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/userfiles/file/Full-Report/Most-Serious-Problems-Diminishing-Role-of-IRS-Revenue-Officer.pdf
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-Aileen Dwight, Licensed Clinical Social Worker & Psychotherapist
Last updated: May 27, 2023
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