Former IRS Revenue Officer

Former IRS Revenue Officer

Michael Raanan, EA

Santa Ana, CA

Male, 35

My tenure with the largest and most powerful collection agency in the world, the IRS, began fresh out of college and with much surprise. Following an extensive interview process and a cross-country flight to the West Coast, I found myself in Los Angeles with the unenviable task of getting delinquent taxpayers back into tax compliance. After approximately 8 years of service, I left, and now find myself (very literally) on the other side of the table helping taxpayers resolve their IRS disputes.

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62 Questions


Last Answer on May 16, 2017

Best Rated

owed back taxes, been paying monthly, but wasnt on a formal payment plan. was working w/ a tax advocate to do that, now a revenue officers been assigned. what do i do?!

Asked by michele over 4 years ago

A Revenue Officer is the last line of collection for the IRS when it comes to back taxes. After all required notices and letters have been issued by the IRS Service Center, the balance due case is transferred to a local IRS office and assigned to a Revenue Officer for review and resolution. 

A timely response to the IRS is always strongly encouraged to prevent enforced collection actions, such as a tax lien or levy. This is especially true when a balance due case has been assigned to a Revenue Officer. 

Since specific case matters cannot be discussed on this forum, please contact Michael at or 1-714-382-6780 for a FREE consultation and immediate feedback on your individual case. 

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Re my previous question I read your response that the service center usually doesn't handle cases over 250k. But there is no reference to if there is a MINIMUM for the revenue officer to take a case

Asked by Davew over 4 years ago

Hi Dave, 

There is no minimum dollar amount for an IRS Revenue Officer. Feel free to contact me for assistance at Consultations are always Free, as are reviews of IRS notices and letters. Tel: 714-382-6780


Does an RO ever forgive some of the penalties & interest? Which can amount up to 100K over a 10 year period.

Asked by Nona over 4 years ago

Both IRS Revenue Officers and Service Center Collection employees have the authority to remove penalties and related interest. In general, this can be done in two ways. The first is through a taxpayer request based on the First Time Abatement provision. The second is a request based on Reasonable Cause. Both methods have their respective procedures and policies that the IRS must follow, including taxpayer qualification criteria. Every taxpayer has a right to request an abatement of penalties, and the IRS is required to consider all legitimate requests. Taxpayers can make such a request themselves or through their tax representative. In the event the IRS denies an abatement request, a taxpayer has a right to file an appeal. 

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A lot of accountants and lawyers advertise the fact that they used to work for the IRS. Just how much of an edge does that give? Is it just better knowledge of how the process works, or can "knowing the right guy" at the IRS actually come into play?

Asked by Olaf about 4 years ago

Having worked inside the IRS certainly does provide a tax professional with a better understanding of the agency's policies and procedures. It should be noted, however, that the most important element in choosing a tax practitioner is how well that person's professional experience matches up with the specific tax service that is needed. For example, a taxpayer with back taxes owed to the IRS would likely be in better hands with a tax professional (ex-IRS or not) that specializes in handling tax relief work - as opposed to a tax preparer or attorney. Similar to the legal field, the tax and accounting field is broken down into many specializations and niches. Taxpayers should place skills and experience at the top of their priority list.

Hi Micheal. My question is I owe quarterly from 2012 to 2014 my bookkeeper wasn't taking any payments for the quarterly automatically out the bank account. I'm working to resolve this but was told I will be assigned a revenue officer what am I to do?

Asked by anitra almost 4 years ago

Businesses that fail to make Federal Tax Deposits (payroll taxes) have been and still are a priority for the IRS. This is because the employer is responsible for taking an employee's withholding and turning it over to the government during each payroll - the IRS calls this "trust fund" money.

If the IRS gets wind that a business-taxpayer is not making its required Federal Tax Deposits, they will usually assign the Collections case to a Revenue Officer at a local IRS office in an effort to get the taxpayer back on track and in compliance again. This often entails having the business catch up on all current payroll taxes and establishing a payment plan for the back taxes if it cannot full pay. The Revenue Officer may also need to file a lien to protect the government's interest.

Depending on the amount of unpaid "trust fund" taxes, the IRS may assess a civil penalty against the person(s) responsible for not paying the taxes. This means they will assess a liability against that person's social security number, at which time a business liability has also become (in part) a personal liability. This civil penalty is called a Trust Fund Recovery Penalty. In cases where outstanding trust fund taxes and a Revenue Officer are involved, it is highly advisable to consult with a qualified tax resolution professional. 

Related: 1) What to Know About Payroll (Trust Fund) Taxes 2) 10 Facts About the IRS Collection Process

I have an accountant do my taxes, but I know that I'm the one who ultimately signs off on them. But if it really is my accountant's mistake (that I just missed), is that a defense against filing a false return?

Asked by Forgo1a over 3 years ago

It depends on what you mean by "false return". The IRS maintains that what ends up on a tax return is ultimately the responsibility of the taxpayer. There are certain circumstances where a tax preparer can be held responsible and subject to specific penalties, however. Because of this, many scrupulous tax preparers carry professional liability insurance that will cover the costs of any such oversights.

Taxpayers themselves may also seek to have any such penalties removed based on Reasonable Cause provisions of the Internal Revenue Manual.

Is there a minimum threshold to be assigned a revenue officer ? My accountant being told by an agent that the debt to IRS must be 250,000 or greater

Asked by Dave W over 4 years ago

A Revenue Officer is the last line of collection for the IRS when it comes to back taxes. A collection case is generally assigned to a RO at the IRS office closest to where the taxpayer lives. Although the IRS Service Center generally does not work collection cases over $250K, a RO has no such limits. A RO is generally assigned a collection case based on his/her Grade level. As such, ROs work collection cases from a few thousand dollars in back taxes to multi-million dollar cases. If favorable, taxpayers can request their IRS tax case to be transferred from the Service Center to a local RO. This decision should be made with a qualified tax representative and should always be based on the facts and circumstances of the case. 

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