An Overview of the IRS Tax Collections Process for Non-Tax Lawyers
9. More About Automated Collection Systems
As a result of that, there are some things that you should note about ACS. Number one is that most of their collections agents do not handle the same case twice. Because they don’t handle the same case twice, you’re often relying on the ACS agent to take very detailed notes about the call, discuss time tables and actions.
Unfortunately, sometimes they don’t keep the best notes. It’s really important as a practitioner to keep notes and records every time you all ACS so that you can best document your case, so that you have an understanding of what was said.
That way, if there’s any dispute later, if the IRS levies your client or if there’s any other negative action taken, you’ve got the name of the ACS agent, you’ve got their ID number, you got the date and time of your call. And by having those pieces of information when dealing with their supervisor saying, “Hey, so and so told me that we weren’t going to levy and they went ahead and levied.” Then, you’ve got a record that you can go back to the IRS and have them pull tape and resolve the issue.
ACS agents, in addition to handling taxpayer compliance, they can also issue liens. They can issue levies. They can refer cases out to the field. All those things are really, really important. We’ll go into details about liens and levies a little bit later in the presentation. But they can work to seize assets even from remote location.
And the IRS’s general philosophy after satisfying statutory requirements is to shoot first and ask questions later. They will seize bank accounts and then leave it to the taxpayers to try to get the money back.
They have limited resources trying to determine the efficacy. And when you’re dealing with the taxpayer who has multiple chances to compliance and perhaps ignored letters or has been sticking their head in the sand, the ACS agents aren’t going to be too sympathetic about them.