There are two things that an IRS revenue officer judges themselves on when it comes to their own job performance: how much money they can collect toward the satisfaction of the liability and how fast they can close a case out. From the taxpayer standpoint, the most important objective other than a successful resolution to your account is to get them out of your life as soon as possible. No one likes the IRS looking over their shoulder and the longer that they linger than the more opportunity exists for them to make your life miserable. So do not let them.
If I call IRS Automated Collection Systems and find out that the account is being transferred into the field, then I work diligently with my taxpayer to make sure all our T’s are crossed and our I’s are dotted BEFORE the revenue officer even gets on the scene. This may involve getting any and all delinquent returns prepared ahead of time (or at least getting a jump on the process and having an update for the revenue officer when they arrive on the scene). This may also involve having a financial statement (433-A) drafted ahead of time and updated it on a monthly basis for a few months until to speak with the RO. Trust me, I know it is a lot of deal with right up front, but it pays dividends in the end.
Here is how I deal with IRS revenue officers. 1) I assess the taxpayer’s full situation including any and all contact with the revenue officer, 2) I get a game plan together in conjunction with my taxpayer’s goals, 3) I devise a strategy for executing that game plan (all outstanding tax returns submitted and a financial statement completed within ___ weeks), 4) I call the revenue officer, introduce myself, and lay out the plan of how things are going to go. By taking control of the situation, I leave less room for the revenue officer to interject himself or herself into the game plan. If I leave things to the revenue officer, they may set an unreasonable or unworkable deadline or go on a fishing expedition for documents (more on this below). I also appear proactive and already put myself in a good position with the revenue officer by letting them know that I am going to manage their case for them. They may add additional requests or let you know that your timetable is unreasonable, but at least I have made the opening offer and now have a platform to negotiate off of. This really helps.
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