An Overview of the IRS Tax Collections Process for Non-Tax Lawyers
12. Revenue Officers
Now I’d like to talk a little bit about Revenue Officers. A revenue officer is a local IRS agent. One of the local field officers in the IRS, there has quite a few across the country. We have two here in San Diego.
A revenue officer is an individual collection agent. Most offices have anywhere between 10 and 50 revenue agents. Some have more. Some of the bigger IRS offices in California. Or some of the other ones who have more agents. Some will have less.
An IRS revenue officer is a specially-trained collection agent. We’ve pull the IRS’s job description for revenue agents:
They conduct face-to-face interviews with taxpayers. They analyze financial information. They collect moneys. They seize assets and property.
They try to resolve tax issues. They garnish bank accounts and they educate taxpayers as to their filing and paying obligations. Those are the principal jobs of a revenue officer.
As a practical manner, a revenue officer is assigned about 40 collection cases and gives each one of those cases special attention. Special attention when it comes to the IRS is not a good thing.
Revenue officers – by their job description – are mandated to try and make personal field contact with the taxpayers. They’re the ones that go around knocking on people’s doors, going to their jobs leaving cards or otherwise, coming around and scaring people.
If you have a client and the client comes in and says, “I was contacted by the IRS and so and so left a card on my door,” you are probably dealing with a revenue officer.
It’s important to look at that person’s business card and confirm that suspicion and/or call them and ask them who they are. But those are usually the people that you’re dealing with when you’re dealing with a revenue officer.
Because the IRS has limited resources, revenue officers generally only work at certain manners.
Revenue officers will work individual liabilities of $250,000 or greater. They will work payroll tax liabilities. Payroll tax liabilities are very hot topic for the IRS and they work payroll taxes all sizes.
If you have a business that has occurred more than two quarters of payroll tax liability, generally, they will send a revenue officer to the case to stop the bleeding, particularly when there’s a high dollar amount.
The other type of matter that IRS revenue officers will investigate is chronic non-filers. People who have not filed multiple years of returns, the IRS revenue officer will go out, will do a more detailed asset investigation – perhaps pulling records – and will try and track that person down and get them back in the compliance.