Tax Law Center Blog

Tax Law Center Blog

Tax Law Center Blog

by cflathers

Has Your Case Been Assigned to an IRS Revenue Officer in Los Angeles?

The IRS sometimes assigns revenue officers to collect tax debts in cases of extreme taxpayer negligence. Revenue officers often take drastic measures to recover taxes owed. Officers may freeze assets, obtain search warrants, seize property, and garnish wages. While IRS revenue officers cannot arrest taxpayers, they may refer cases to the IRS Criminal Investigation Division.

When Does the IRS Assign a Revenue Officer?

When attempts to collect back taxes through normal channels fail, the IRS’s next option is to assign a revenue officer to the case. Most taxpayers who are behind in their taxes will never encounter revenue officers because they are usually only assigned when taxpayers have very large tax debts, when the IRS has been unsuccessful in collecting old debt, or when the taxpayer has a history of unpaid taxes or not filing.

Revenue Officers Are Granted Absolute Collection Authority

Revenue officers have the authority to contact taxpayers by any means including home or workplace visits, written notices to appear at meetings, or by phone. IRS revenue officers are not police officers. Their only job is to collect large debts owed to the IRS. They can do this by:

  • Garnishing take-home wages over $185 per week for single filers without children
  • Freezing liquid assets like savings and checking accounts without notice
  • Obtaining a search warrant when taxpayers do not give permission for them to enter their premises
  • Having the police assist with the execution of a search warrant by confiscating files, computers, disks, and other sources of information sought
  • Seizing portable assets like boats, cars, bonds, or account receivables
  • Issuing levies on Social Security benefits, real estate assets, and bank accounts

How Taxpayers Should Deal with an IRS Revenue Officer

When an IRS revenue officer becomes involved with collections, taxpayers should not ignore their attempts for communication. This includes notices of scheduled meetings. A taxpayer has the right to obtain a tax attorney to accompany them to such meetings and assist with preparing the paperwork and other information requested by the officer. It is better to work with the IRS to satisfy the tax debt, including making the effort to file an offer in compromise or by filing an appeal of any determinations that taxes are owed.