Knowing who you are dealing with and how to handle the IRS is a large part of tackling your financial woes. First off, a Revenue Officer with the IRS has limited powers and is not able to carry firearms. This is not a law enforcement position, unlike a Special Agent. A Revenue Officer’s job is to collect money from taxpayers who have outstanding debts. They begin by showing up unannounced at your business or place of residence in order to use the element of surprise to their advantage in assessing assets and the lifestyle of the person or business under investigation. It is important to note, however, that without a search warrant or court order, a Revenue Officer is only allowed to enter public areas. Regardless, their presence can cause undue alarm in a place of business and attract unnecessary attention to the business, leaving you exposed and vulnerable in the public eye.
According to tax arbitration expert, Michael Ellis, CEO of Ellis PENN, “if you are contacted by a Revenue Officer, you should contact a tax professional immediately so they can provide the kind of help you need. It is best not to engage in conversation, but to remain polite and oblige while also stating you have or are requesting a power of attorney and appropriate representation.”
A Special Agent is employed by the IRS to investigate tax offenses and tax crimes. They can and will be armed and are normally accompanied by other Special Agents or law enforcement individuals. Once a Special Agent arrives on the scene, your situation is not up for discussion. According to Ellis, “there is nothing you can say to change their minds, you are going downtown…but defendants who keep their mouth shut have a better chance at winning their case with proper representation from their tax attorney/professional.”
Dealing with the IRS can be very intimidating and stressful as both Revenue Officers and Special Agents can impose very real threats to both your professional and personal life. Knowledge of their duties and operations can eliminate some fear of the unknown. Combining this knowledge with professional tax representation will enable you to have an even more powerful tool when trying to resolve tax debt problems with the IRS.