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IRS Revenue Officers and Strategies for Dealing with Them - Part Five

IRS Revenue Officers Tip # 6 - Knowing When to Get Tough

This is one of the most difficult things for me to advise you on how to do properly and effectively. Experience and knowledge of tax procedure have seasoned me throughout the years on when is an appropriate time to get tough with your revenue officer. The fact of the matter is that some revenue officers will try to take advantage of your weakened position and, if you let them, they will walk all over you. Some will go on a fishing expedition by requesting a ridiculous amount of documentation to substantiate the positions on your financial statement or for them to conduct their investigation. Some will take a hard line position by insisting on good faith payment amounts or monthly installment payment amounts that are too difficult for the taxpayer to meet without them suffering financial hardship.

As I mentioned, it is always better to be nice to the revenue officer and maintain an amicable relationship. However, sometimes this is not always possible and some people just need to be put into check. First, think long and hard about what the revenue officer is asking and why it is unreasonable. Being able to articulate this and advocate for your position is the only way you are going to win this battle, so you want to make sure you have a clear leg to stand on. Do some basic research on tax procedure if you can (if you can cite a code section or the IRM then it is possible that they might back off). If the revenue officer does not seem to be backing down or you are truly at an impasse, then do not be afraid to get the revenue officer’s manager involved. The manager will tell you like it is and good ones will put their less experienced revenue officers in check. Use this tactic sparingly though. No one likes to get in trouble with their boss and you may strain further relations with your revenue officer by resorting to this tactic. Sometimes, however, they will respect you more and you will start getting better results because of it. Weigh the gamble and do not be afraid to get tough.


In closing, I hope that these tips have been helpful for you in learning how I deal with revenue officers. My goal here was to assist you in achieving better results and to minimize the stress that an IRS collection matter can put on your life. No one particularly likes dealing with a revenue officer, but you can significantly reduce the headache involved by working quickly and effectively and by following some of the guidelines that I have shared. As I stated earlier, revenue officer matters can sometimes be particularly difficult to deal with and I would encourage you to contact me or your local tax professional if you get into trouble. Sometimes even a brief chat with an expert can greatly aid in finding a solution.

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