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.

SubscribeGet emails when new questions are answered. Ask Me Anything!Show Bio +

Share:

Ask me anything!

Submit Your Question

59 Questions

Share:

Last Answer on May 16, 2017

Best Rated

Did you ever deal with people who tried the 'Wesley Snipes' defense of claiming that they "didn't believe" in paying taxes, or that it was unconstitutional?

Asked by dan79 over 4 years ago

From time to time I did come across the occasional "tax resistor" (formerly referred to as "tax protestors"). Most of these individuals would employ very similar techniques in an attempt to impede Collection activity and delay progress of the case, such as mailing and faxing an inordinate amount of correspondence to the IRS littered with fictitious claims, legal citations and allegations.

As with all IRS cases, each of the tax resistors had their own unique characteristics. In one such case, I was assigned to a holistic practitioner with a business and radio show who would send between 4- 6 letters a week titled "Non-negotiable Notice of Acceptance" containing various indecipherable verbiage and instructing the IRS to, among other things, close his account. Each of those Notices would be followed up the next week with a fully notarized "Notice of Dishonor". Each Notice contained a list of about 10 CC'd recipients, including judges, attorneys and lenders that were part of an unrelated lawsuit. In addition to the correspondence addressed directly to me, the taxpayer was kind of enough to send me courtesy copies of the Notices he sent to the other 10 individuals. After the case was prepared for closure, all 150+ Notices were happily sent along to the Closed Case Files department. 

Related reading:
1) Common frivolous tax resistor arguments: http://evans-legal.com/dan/tpfaq.html
2) Profiles of known tax resistors: http://tpgurus.wikidot.com/

What ultimately prompted you to switch sides? Does it simply pay way more as a practicing accountant?

Asked by Lyd5 over 4 years ago

In short, I'd always wanted to work for myself since I was young. This aspiration was further enhanced by my experience in two business schools which cemented my decision to depart from the IRS and subsequently open my own tax firm.

For me, one of the best parts about working at the IRS was helping taxpayers resolve their tax matter. While at the IRS, it was my responsibility to listen to each taxpayer, assess their tax situation based on the facts of the case, and work with them to resolve their case. I spent a lot of time educating taxpayers on their tax responsibilities and helping them understand how they got themselves into the mess they were in, so that it wouldn't happen again. Indeed, I was helping taxpayers while at the IRS, though understandably, it was difficult for some taxpayers to see it that way at the time. Now, I am in a fortunate position to continue helping taxpayers by working as their advocate and making their lives a little easier.

Compensation aside, a career with the IRS can be very rewarding depending on a person's interests and expectations. The positions at the IRS are as diverse as the employees that work there. A few of the lesser known positions are: Economist, Biologist, Forensic Examiner, Chemist, Engineer, Appraiser, Programmer, Media Specialist...

Related:
1) IRS Careers Website (they even have internships): http://jobs.irs.gov/home.html
2) 2013 General Schedule Pay Tables: http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/salaries-wages/2013/general-schedule/

 

Were you generally more accommodating when a taxpayer was really polite with you? Or were you mandated to treat everyone equally based solely on the facts, irrespective of whether they were nice or jerks?

Asked by blastoff over 4 years ago

As a Revenue Officer (RO), my duties were to investigate the nature of a taxpayer's delinquency and collect any balances or unfiled tax returns that were due. ROs are unique among other IRS personnel as they are the last line of collection for the United States, and because of that, they also have more authority and autonomy. With their personal inventory of Collection cases, ROs work directly with the delinquent taxpayer (an individual or business) or with the taxpayer's authorized representative. After working close to 1,000 cases during my tenure, I certainly had my fair share of difficult taxpayers and representatives.

Although IRS personnel are required to treat every taxpayer with respect and professionalism, irrespective of a taxpayer's behavior, a quicker closure of a case is naturally facilitated when the IRS and taxpayer work in tandem towards a resolution. Cooperating with the IRS and disagreeing with the IRS don't have to be mutually exclusive. This idiom comes to mind, "You can catch more flies/bees with honey than vinegar."

Related reading:
1) IRS Publication 1 Taxpayer Rights (see Paragraph III): http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1.pdf

I've read about how the US is actually a world leader in tax compliance because it's ingrained into the social conscience as a moral responsibility. How could that "conscience" be built in Greece, where no one pays taxes and no one seems to care?

Asked by JoeyWhoa over 4 years ago

Despite its many inefficiencies and shortcomings, the U.S. tax system is in fact one of the most effective in the world. However, even with a voluntary compliance rate of over 90 percent, there is still a tax gap of approx $450B as a result of underreporting, underpayment, nonfiling, and fraud. Any nation looking to implement a tax system would presumably benefit greatly by benchmarking the U.S. system and adapting so-called 'best practices' to the specific needs of the subject nation.

 

While the process of taxpaying may seem simple to some, do you agree that even the basic forms and concepts may be too complex for a lot of people, especially non-native English speakers?

Asked by joe cann over 4 years ago

I couldn't agree more. If you look closely, you'll often see the Taxpayer Burden Reduction statement at the end of a standard IRS form or publication (see 1 below). While the IRS can attempt to ease taxpayer burden with respect to forms and verbiage, it is Congress that has delegated to the IRS the responsibility of administering the tax laws - known as the Internal Revenue Code and found in Title 26 of the United States Code. Congress enacts these tax laws, and the IRS enforces them. One would imagine, a simpler set of laws would mean an easier time administering such laws, and thus make it easier for taxpayers to comply with them. 

1) "We welcome comments on forms. We try to create forms and instructions that can be easily understood. Often this is difficult to do because our tax laws are very complex. For some people with income mostly from wages, filling in the forms is easy. For others who have businesses, pensions, stocks, rental income, or other investments, it is more difficult.

If you have suggestions for making these forms simpler, we would be happy to hear from you. You can email us at taxforms@irs.gov. Please put “Forms Comment” on the subject line. You can also send us comments from www.irs.gov/formspubs. Click on “More Information” and then on “Comment on Tax Forms and Publications.” Or you can write to Internal Revenue Service, Individual and Specialty Forms and Publications Branch, SE:W:CAR:MP:T:I, 1111 Constitution Ave. NW, IR-6526, Washington, DC 20224. Do not send your return to this address. Instead, see the addresses at the end of these instructions.

Although we cannot respond individually to each comment received, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax forms and instructions."

2) IRS Website in:
    Spanish: http://www.irs.gov/Spanish
    Vietnamese: http://www.irs.gov/Vietnamese
    Chinese: http://www.irs.gov/Chinese
    Korean: http://www.irs.gov/Korean
    Russian: http://www.irs.gov/Russian
    Accessible/Disability: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Accessible-IRS-Tax-Products

3) Taxpayer Assistance Center: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Contact-Your-Local-IRS-Office-1 

What's your insider's take on the general competence of IRS officers?

Asked by kellyinboston over 4 years ago

There are various positions within the IRS organization that require varying degrees of education and training. While tax legislation and internal policies and procedures would change regularly, one constant during my time at the IRS was the continuous, mandated training for Revenue Officers and other employees. 

I worked along many employees that were CPAs, attorneys, former preparers and bookkeepers, and others that were well-educated and experienced. Some were seasoned 30-year government employees and others transitioned in from the private sector after working for themselves or large corporate entities. Their back stories were always quite interesting. 

Indeed, as with any large organization, there will always be employees within the IRS that appear more proficient than others. However, one thing I vividly recall while at the agency was the perpetual changes in internal policies and procedures and the overwhelming lack of resources across all divisions, such as insufficient human capital and basic office necessities like printer toners, fax machines, and copiers. These changes and shortcomings contribute significantly to the inefficiencies that plague IRS employees, taxpayers, and practitioners alike. In general, organizations with a proper foundation function more efficiently and, thus, are often perceived in a more positive light by stakeholders. 

Related
1) Detailed insight into IRS operations in 2012: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/National-Taxpayer-Advocate-Delivers-2012-Annual-Report-to-Congress 

Hah, pretty timely for an IRS employee Q&A:)
What's your take on the tea party mess you see going down right now? Was it a few politically-motivated bad eggs, or is that kind of profiling a regular occurrence that DOES make things more efficient?

Asked by liza.dewitt over 4 years ago

A perfect mess, indeed. The IRS has never been good at informing taxpayers (the general public) what it is they actually do on a daily basis and why their role (as delegated by Congress) as the 'Accounts Receivable' for the United States is so critical. As such, the public perception of the agency will continue to thrive and flourish, and any detrimental news will always be magnified to the nth degree.

That said, all employees from the Commissioner down are sworn public employees and have an ethical duty to uphold the law and comply with IRS policies and procedures. In addition to immediate supervisors and other superiors, the agency that polices all IRS employees is the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, or TIGTA. In general, employees are usually stepping on egg shells to avoid any violation (such as an 'unauthorized access' simply by transposing one digit of an SSN into the computer), or perception of a violation, in fear of a visit from TIGTA, which may result in losing their job and possibly civil/criminal prosecution. Employees in positions that require taxpayer/case scrutiny must do so within pre-determined guidelines. Any intentional violations only serve to erode the public trust and undermine the integrity of the tax system. 

It should be noted the IRS contends with lawsuits of all kinds on a regular basis. However, we can reasonably expect that IRS and DOJ attorneys will be extra busy following these recent events.

Related:
1) What is TIGTA? http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/about_what.shtml
2) Recent IRS Investigations: http://www.landmarktaxgroup.com/taxpayer-resources/recent-irs-investigations

 

 

Did you see any of the lavish spending that the IRS is now being accused of while you worked there?

Asked by Shamwow over 4 years ago

The idea of lavish spending made me laugh. Not because it isn't a valid question (it certainly is), but because the reality of working at the IRS can be described as the polar opposite of anything that can be considered lavish, despite any abuses or poor judgments made by a few IRS heads. During my recent tenure, the organization was in desperate need of basics such as working fax machines, printers, toners, copy machines, and sufficient personnel. With new IRS leadership in place, hopefully operational funds wil be used in an efficient and judicious manner. 

 

Why would the IRS twist my arm to pay payment installment agreement fee even I turned around in less than a week to request that I will rather pay off whatever I owe in one lump sum? What can I do to avoid this fee which I see as just arm twisting?

Asked by fred57 over 4 years ago

Fees for setting up an installment agreement with the IRS are:

$105 for regular installment agreements
$52 for direct-debit installment agreements
$43 if a taxpayer's income is below a certain level

The only way to avoid the fee is by paying the tax liability in full prior to establishing an installment agreement. 

Related:
1) 11 Tips for Taxpayers Who Owe Money to the IRS: http://bit.ly/VMooQz
2) 10 Things to Know About the IRS Collection Process: http://bit.ly/JThMyU

Just how political is the culture at the IRS? Do people talk politics over lunch and such, or is that kind of stuff expressly discouraged?

Asked by Brash over 4 years ago

Within my office, employees discussed politics from time to time, but it was usually one of many topics of conversation. I don't recall an official prohibition of any particular topic, however employees did attempt to keep discusssions of more controversial topics, such as politics, as professional and politically correct as possible, similar to other professional workplaces.

Do you know approx how much of the extra tax revenue that's collected via IRS audit is from individual vs. business returns?

Asked by DayGlo over 4 years ago

For fiscal year 2012:

Revenue from Individual and Business audits = $10.2 B (Revenue from each is not clear)

Total Individual Returns Audited = 1,481,966

Total Business Returns Audited = 70,265

Source: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-news/FY%202012%20enforcement%20and%20service%20results-%20Media.pdf

Are you allowed to consult on the side while you're working as an IRS revenue officer? Seems like you could pull in a good part-time income that way?

Asked by Bekka over 4 years ago

Any work outside of the IRS must be pre-approved by the agency. Work related to tax preparation or tax consulting is explicitly prohibited by the IRS. Revenue Officers and other IRS employees have to refrain from pariticipation in any activity that constitutes a conflict of interest or 'perceived' conflict of interest. 

See this recent example of an IRS Agent who was recently sentenced for having an unapproved tax service on the side: http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/Former-IRS-agent-sentenced-in-database-case-4811725.php

As an IRS auditor, how are you evaluated performance-wise by your bosses? Do a lot of people get fired for poor performance, or is it unionized?

Asked by CKing over 4 years ago

Employees are evaluated on numerous Critical Job Elements (CJEs) throughout the year. Failure to meet the CJEs can result in a 90-day probationary period whereby the employee is given an opportunity to improve prior to termination, mandated re-training, transfer, or other alternatives. Exact procedures differ depending on the position and division within the agency, however auditors and other employees are reviewed regularly by their immediate manager, the manager's supervisor, and on a more macro level by the Area Director and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). 

Does an officer's subjective judgement come into play when deciding whether something is tax avoidance (ok) or evasion (not ok)? In other words, who makes that determination and how do you decide whether criminal penalties are warranted?

Asked by Emma over 4 years ago

As with almost all things IRS, the fine line between tax avoidance and tax evasion is dictated by the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and Internal Revenue Manual (IRM), among other sources. Many criminal cases arise out of civil investigations where certain 'badges of fraud' are identified and examined to determine if a case warrants further research. If a Revenue Officer determines elements of fraud may be present, he/she will typically need to gather compelling evidence supporting those findings before presenting the case to the IRS attorneys. 

Related:
1) Recent IRS Investigations: http://www.landmarktaxgroup.com/taxpayer-resources/recent-irs-investigations

is it true that declaring ANY gambling winnings on your return makes your chance of an audit skyrocket? I won $950 on slots last year, but I didn't declare it because it's a relatively small amount. (Yes, I know it's wrong.)

Asked by JessMilano over 4 years ago

While no one knows exactly what flags an IRS audit, gambling income alone shouldn't usually be cause for concern. Out of the 1,481,966 audits conducted by the IRS in 2012, about 1,122,216 (76%) were completed via correspondence (versus field or in-person audits).

In the case of gambling winnings, the casino will file a copy of Form W-2G with the IRS. If IRS records don't reconcile with income reported on a tax return, a systemic (computer-generated) notice is sent to the taxpayer asking for clarification. 

The IRS has provided this online tool to help determine if you need to claim gambling winnings and if you can deduct gambling losses: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Do-I-Need-To-Claim-My-Gambling-Winnings-and-Can-I-Deduct-My-Gambling-Losses%3F

Related:
1) 6 Ways to Reduce Your Chance of an IRS Audit:
http://www.landmarktaxgroup.com/taxes/6-ways-to-reduce-your-chance-of-an-audit

 

IRS Circular 230 Disclaimer: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, you are informed that nothing in this post is intended to be used as or construed as rendering any United States tax advice and is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any matters addressed on this Website.

 

Politics aside, what did you think of the Paul Ryan tax plan? And on a similar note, has any politician campaigned on a tax plan that made IRS insiders across the board go "Jesus, that guy has no idea what he's talking about"?

Asked by tony v over 4 years ago

I'm not too familiar with Paul Ryan's tax plan, however any "tax plan" that is easy for the average American to understand and treats all taxpayers equally and fairly sounds like a good one to me. I'm a big supporter of the K.I.S. concept - there's almost always a way to keep it simple, even with taxes. 

 

Can you rely on a lawyer or accountant's tax advice to avoid fines and penalties? If my lawyer writes me a comfort letter telling me I don't owe tax on something, can I avoid penalties even if his advice was incompetent and I should've known better?

Asked by Tonia over 4 years ago

In general, taxpayers are required to exercise "ordinary business care and prudence" when complying with their tax obligations - a responsibility that cannot be delegated. Erroneous advice from a third party usually does not meet penalty abatement criteria, however, there may additional reasons for the penalties to be abated based on reasonable cause. See 'What to Know About Penalty and Interest Abatement': http://bit.ly/MSES89

Moreover, the avoidance of penalties is explicitly addressed in the required IRS Circular 230 Disclaimer used by tax professionals below: 

"IRS CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE: To comply with requirements imposed by the Department of the Treasury, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written by the practitioner to be used, and that it cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer, and (ii) supporting the promotion or marketing of any transactions or matters addressed herein."

My 81 yr old mom opened a rest 2009 and closed 2010. She was involved with a family friend who didn't pay the taxes . We just received our first irs notice in August. She is below poverty and owes 21500, absolutely no way she can pay this.

Asked by Rose about 4 years ago

The IRS has options for taxpayers that are faced with severe financial and personal hardship, most notably the Currently Not Collectible program. If, after a financial review by the IRS, the agency determines that a taxpayer cannot make any payments towards a tax liability, they will place the account in CNC status and cease all collection efforts. It should be noted that the tax liability will continue to accrue penalties and interest and that the IRS still has the right to resume collection efforts in the future should the facts and circumstances of the taxpayer's case change. 

Related: Getting Help from the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service: http://bit.ly/1hMZmAi

I was fired out of retaliation for calling osha, I was in a rural area and no other work available. My RVlotspace parart of my employment at no charge. I had OSHA as my mediator and a settlement of $1200.00 and now I get a 1099 to pay taxes

Asked by Gail Wallace almost 4 years ago

Should you have a specific question about the 1099, you are welcome to post it here or contact me directly. 

Related: Taxable vs. Non-Taxable Income: http://bit.ly/1hthb7Q

I entered into an installment agreement in October of 2013. Completed the 433, and have never missed a payment. The IRS is cancelling it due to 2010 not being included. It WAS included and another IRS workers is saying they are wrong. What can I do?

Asked by js almost 4 years ago

In general, if an installment ageement defaults due to an IRS administrative error (i.e. not including all periods in the payment plan) then the agreement can often be reinstated without delay. The speed at which this occurs depends on a few factors including which IRS office set up the initial installment agreement - Service Center vs. Local IRS Office. 

For further assistance with your specific tax matter, you are welcome to contact me anytime. 
T. 1 (714) 382-6780
E. michael (at) landmarktaxgroup.com

What is the % of medical that can be deducted.

Asked by Dixie over 3 years ago

In general, the tax code allows us to deduct medical and dental expenses that are more than 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income. As with all things taxes, there are many nuances and exceptions to this rule, so it is always best to have a qualified tax professional review the specific facts of your tax situation. 

Related:
1) Publication 502 Medical and Dental Expenses
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p502.pdf

2) Facts About Medical and Dental Expenses
http://www.landmarktaxgroup.com/7-important-tax-facts-about-medical-and-dental-expenses

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 3 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 michael@landmarktaxgroup.com or 1-714-382-6780 for a FREE consultation and immediate feedback on your individual case. 

Related: 
1) 11 Tips for Taxpayers Who Owe Money to the IRS 
http://bit.ly/18hk5ce

2) How the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service Can Help You
http://bit.ly/1hMZmAi

 

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 3 years ago

Hi Dave, 

There is no minimum dollar amount for an IRS Revenue Officer. Feel free to contact me for assistance at michael@landmarktaxgroup.com. 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 3 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. 

Related:
1) 8 Facts About IRS Tax Penalties
http://bit.ly/Zf3m6f

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 3 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 http://bit.ly/19i2VKn 2) 10 Facts About the IRS Collection Process http://bit.ly/1q96URn

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 3 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. 

Related: 
1) 11 Tips for Taxpayers Who Owe Money to the IRS 
http://bit.ly/18hk5ce

I was audited for 3 years and represented by my accountant. He was neglegent and now I owe 130k. I live overseas. I am going to US and I am concerned about getting picked up at the airport. I have called RO but no return call. Should I worry?

Asked by processed about 3 years ago

The IRS has procedures in place to assist it in collection of unpaid taxes from taxpayers who reside overseas. If you have an unpaid tax liability and the IRS has filed a Federal Tax Lien, the IRS may submit your taxpayer information to the Treasury Enforcement Communications System (“TECS”). TECS is a database maintained by the Department of Homeland Security. If the IRS places a Customs Hold on a delinquent taxpayer's account, the IRS will be notified when that taxpayer enters the United States. Since a recent Treasury report concluded that the IRS must increase its efforts to collect from international taxpayers, it is now more important than ever to keep a line of communication open with the IRS either directly or through a qualified tax representative. 

Related:
1) 11 Tips for Taxpayers Who Owe Money to the IRS
http://bit.ly/18hk5ce
2) Recent IRS Investigations
http://bit.ly/1d8ON7l

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 3 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.

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 2 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 it true that the IRS makes it a priority to go after 'big fish' tax evaders instead of little guys? And if so, is it mostly because they stand to recover more in tax dollars, or because they want to make an example of rich guys who dodge taxes?

Asked by Alex almost 3 years ago

The IRS Collection process encumbers all taxpayers that are out of "tax compliance". At any given time there are about 12 million taxpayers that are out of compliance and require some sort of contact by the IRS. Many of these taxpayers are initially contacted via correspondence at their last known address.

While it's the responsibility of the IRS to enforce the tax laws, the agency's resources are limited and therefore they must be circumspect when dealing with "tax evaders". Tax evasion cases require collaboration between IRS Collection personnel, IRS Counsel, and the Department of Justice (DOJ) Counsel. The burden of proof lies on the government and cases must be well-developed before a decision to pursue a particular taxpayer is made. To see some recent IRS Criminal Investigation cases, click here.

I got a call from a 206 area code number stating he was an irs revenue officer and I was going to jail. He never said my name he gave the address to the trailer park but not the number to my house. Is this fraud

Asked by todd over 2 years ago

If you receive a call from someone saying they are from the IRS, trying to collect money over the phone and threatening you, it is a SCAM. Do not give them any personal information, including bank and credit card numbers. Collect as much information as you can from them and report it to the proper authorities (here's how). 

Since last year, the Treasury Inspector General (TIGTA) and the IRS have received 366,000 complaints from taxpayers through its telephone hotline. TIGTA has identified approximately 3,300 victims who have lost an estimated $16.8 million from these IRS phone scams, or an average of over $5,000 per victim. The highest reported loss by one individual was a staggering $500,000. Learn more about the phone scam and how to protect yourself.

May I request a different Revenue Officer to be assigned to my case - I am experiencing anger from the officer assigned to me.

Asked by S.A. POLIT over 2 years ago

In general, disputes with a Revenue Officer should first be raised with the Group Manager. The GM may help resolve the dispute or decide that the case needs to be reassigned to a different employee. Disputes that cannot be resolved with the Collection department may benefit from a timely filing of an appeal. In most cases, taxpayers should consider seeking professional representation when their case is assigned to a Revenue Officer, as they are the last line of collection for the United States and have broad authority when it comes to enforcement actions that can be taken, including filing liens and issuing levies.

See: 10 Things to Know About the IRS Collection Process

Does an IRS revenue officer have the right to revisit your home if after the officer left a card in our door and they were contacted

Asked by Pat almost 2 years ago

IRS Revenue Officers are authorized to make "field calls" and personal contact with taxpayers and third parties in connection with a Collection case. This includes making multiple visits to a taxpayer's personal residence or last known address, as warranted.

You may find this article helpful: 10 Things to Know About the IRS Collection Process

An IRS agent left a note on my business location. I do owe them 7k and haven't paid since January. You think that could be the reason for the visit?

Asked by Craig over 1 year ago

IRS Agents have the authority to make "field calls" to a taxpayer's address in an effort to determine if the taxpayer can full pay the tax liability. If a note was left on your door, you may want to take advantage of the Free Consultations many tax relief professionals offer in order to discuss the particulars of your case and what options are available to you. Whether you choose to contact the IRS yourself or retain a tax representative, at least you will be better prepared.

If a federal tax lein has been filed, and payments are being made, can they still issue an levy

Asked by Tk almost 2 years ago

A tax lien is the government’s way to secure its interest in your assets and facilitate collection of your tax liability. After a lien is properly filed, the government has a right to all of your property, as well as any property or rights to property you acquire thereafter. Once its interest in your property is secured, the government can levy or seize your property as a means of collection. Levies are generally not issued when a proper installment agreement has been established and is in 'current' status. If levies have been issued in your case, you or tax representative will need to contact the IRS directly to figure out why. It's possible that the payment plan may have defaulted. 

See: What to Know About IRS Levies See: What to Know About IRS Payment Plans

What is the best method for claiming exempt and after non-exempt to maximize the amount of income and tax refund ratio? How does it work?

Asked by StateWorker0705 about 2 years ago

Sounds like you need to speak with a tax preparer.

See: Ten Tips to Help You Choose a Tax Preparer

I am dealing with a Revenue Officer re my debt of $204k. I gave him a 433 the day after the deadline he set. It shows I have negative MDI. He levied my wages the very day I gave him the 433 and thinks I can pay him $3500 a month, I cant. what now?

Asked by Luigipal over 1 year ago

If you're having difficulty with an IRS Revenue Officer, you may want to take advantage of the Free Consultations many tax relief professionals offer in order to discuss the particulars of your case and what options are available to you. Whether you choose to continue representing yourself in front of the IRS or retain a tax representative, at least you will be better prepared.

I am searching for confirmation and history of Stephen Montgomery Rasar, Revenue Officer in Oklahoma and Texas in 1882-1884. Can anyone help me?
campbellonharker
@gmail.com

Asked by Donald H. Campbell almost 2 years ago

You can try contacting the IRS here.

With the new 2015 law, I'm concerned about being able to get an expedited passport given old, unpaid taxes, I owe about $500k and the case is in the process of being given to a RO. Will I have a problem right now with getting a new passport?

Asked by Jack over 1 year ago

Some clarification on the new IRS Passport rules can be found here.

If you're having difficulty with getting an IRS resolution in place before your passport is approved, you may want to take advantage of a Free Consultation with a tax relief professional to discuss the particulars of your case and what options are available to you. Whether you choose to continue representing yourself in front of the IRS or retain a tax representative, at least you will be better prepared.

I am told that once you are assigned a RO, even if you file an appeal you will most likely to get the same RO. Ours is very difficult per our tax lawyer.

Asked by lexiladi over 1 year ago

The IRS has to follow internal procedures when considering a request for a case reassignment. IRS Group Managers can reassign a case if the facts of the case warrant it. Learn more about the IRS Collection Process here.

Completed 433. Because we gamble, our RO added the $ we spent gambling back on the income side of the 433 which distorted our true income. Is this legal?

Asked by Lexiladi over 1 year ago

Specific IRS case questions should be discussed with a licensed tax relief professional.

As a revenue officer, would you accept information from a civilian that had information about someone with multiple tax liens and that may be using others to hide cash or other assets?

Asked by honeybadger 12 months ago

The IRS's Whistleblower Office has recently announced that awards have jumped 322% in 2016, totaling about $61 million. Taxpayers can learn about reporting suspected tax fraud here.

Hello. We had a card from a RO at our residence today. It says his name and Revenue Officer Small Business Self Employed. We are not small business or self employed. We do owe $1400 from 2014 and $6693 from 2015 but have been on a payment plan

Asked by Long about 1 year ago

RO's use "calling cards" to inform taxpayers of their visit to their residence. Most individual and business Collection cases the IRS handles are assigned to the Small Business/Self Employed Unit of the IRS. A "field call" from the IRS may indicate that your payment plan has defaulted. Here are 11 Tips For Taxpayers Who Owe Money To The IRS

Is there a typical timeline for tax evasion/fraud investigations? About how long does it take to go from the initial filing of FTL to indictment?

Asked by honeybadger 11 months ago

Generally, IRS employees work cases at the speed of their case inventory and investigation. Taxpayers are best served when they are proactive and working with a licensed tax relief professional towards a proper (and favorable) case resolution.

What can we do when a revenue officer is lied and blocked our Offer in Compromise submission? He keeps saying that we are delaying and we have been 100% proactive and he is delaying. My accountant is afraid to be aggressive with him.

Asked by MVP about 1 year ago

If you're having difficulty with an IRS employee, it's perfectly within your rights as a taxpayer to speak with his/her Group Manager.

Navigating the complicated nature of IRS procedures and the Tax Code is one of the reasons many taxpayers seek assistance from licensed Tax Resolution firms who can provide protection from the IRS. You may want to take advantage of a Free Consultation with a tax relief professional to discuss the particulars of your case and what options are available to you. Whether you choose to continue representing yourself in front of the IRS or retain a tax representative, at least you will be better prepared.

I recently called the IRS who charged a client shared responsibility payment even though they received medicare. Why don't the IRS refund when mistakes are made and/or when they make mistakes?

Asked by TAXPERTEE over 1 year ago

Any IRS errors or mistakes should be diligently pursued by a taxpayer or their tax professional. The IRS Taxpayer Advocate Office can be utilized when normal IRS channels have been unhelpful.

I had to file bankruptcy cause of my huge tax debt but now I can't afford the payment

Asked by Susan 7 months ago

For help, you will want to speak with a licensed tax relief professional to determine how best to reach a favorable resolution with the IRS.

What is the maximum amount the IRS will consider a payment plan on?

Asked by HB199577 7 months ago

The IRS is bound by their own procedures and policies that mandate a payment plan if a taxpayer meets the qualification criteria, regardless of the size of the tax liability. Taxpayers should seek guidance from a licensed tax relief professional to determine how best to reach a favorable resolution with the IRS.

What are the qualifications to become a I.R.S Revenue Officer?

Asked by Raefer Simon 11 months ago

 

I have hired stopirsdebt.com to help me with my back 941 taxes. IRS assign a Revenue Officer to my case. Will stopirsdebt.com work with the Revenue Officer or do I have to deal with it?

Asked by hawaiian 6 months ago

 

what state is the best for you to work as an irs revenue officer?

Asked by alias 10 months ago

 

Hello,
I just started my tax and accounting practice and like to consult with a former IRS officer who can help me understand the workings of IRS to help understand more about IRS. Any suggestions or recommendations or any referrals ?

Thanks,
Mohan

Asked by mohan 3 months ago

 

How does the training in the first year work? Where do you attend?

Asked by Ellie over 1 year ago

 

A tax question. Person A converts a traditional ira to a roth in year 1. In year 2 person A passes away and B inherits the roth. Does B have to wait 5 years before withdrawing any funds?

Asked by Rndballref 3 months ago

 

What intellectual and/or emotional traits are the most conducive to succeeding in work as an IRS revenue officer?

Asked by Chris D 11 months ago

 

What to do when your revenue officer never responds. She doesn't respond to the company representing me or when we contact her.

Asked by gr8t68 5 months ago

 

Why would the IRS file liens in one state but not re-file them if someone moved to a different state? Could this indicate someone is under criminal investigation?

Asked by 199819991127 7 months ago

 

Several tax pros have tried to help me with 100k + tax liens, but I can't get my tax transcripts To file for 3 yrs. A retired IRS agent said it would take her 5 days, and it's been 20 days. I'm going broke and not geting any help with my taxes.

Asked by JackieO 7 months ago

 

Hi what are the educational opportunities for an IRS officer to further their education. What graduate programs would be beneficial to pursue in order to move up in ranksas an irs officer?

Asked by Lalaby over 1 year ago