When a taxpayer fails to file and/or pay their personal and or business taxes, an IRS Field Officer or Revenue Officer may get assigned to collect the outstanding back tax liability. A Revenue Officer assignment means a local employee from the IRS is given the responsibility to collect the money owed by the taxpayer. When the IRS collections department has exhausted all possible collection methods, the case gets forwarded to a field office to be assigned to a Revenue Officer for collections. Most of the time, this occurs with business tax liability, high tax bills or to taxpayers who have been seriously delinquent and have gone multiple years without filing and/or paying.
A Revenue Officer assignment also occurs to collect past due payroll tax liability. In most of these cases, the payroll tax liabilities are left unpaid when a business or corporation closes or goes through a severe financial hardship. If this is the situation, the Revenue Officer is assigned to determine and track down the responsible corporate officer(s) to collect the payroll tax liability.
Individuals with tax liability equaling or totaling more than $250,000 will be contacted by a tax official assigned to their case. Some cases where individuals owe as little as $25,000 may also find themselves being contacted by an officer who is assigned to their case. If the IRS feels it is worth the expenditure of a Revenue Officer assignment to collect the back-tax liability, then the case will be assigned to a local Field Officer to collect.
Those who repeatedly fail to file tax returns may also find a Revenue Officer being assigned to their case. He or she will then attempt to contact the taxpayer to get them file all required missing returns. During this time, if the IRS has filed substitute tax returns on behalf of the taxpayer, the Revenue Officer will also make all attempts to collect the IRS tax assessed balance.
The IRS may assign a Revenue Officer to a case when all alternative and possible collection channels have failed. Generally, what happens is the IRS uses all means of collecting the liability, including a lien, garnishment or tax levy. The Revenue Officer will do a thorough investigation to find out why the bill has not been paid and will determine if the taxpayer can afford to pay the liability or not.
The Revenue Officer can contact the taxpayer by any means possible. This includes mail and phone calls to the home and business phone. The Revenue Officer will also make personal visits to the place of taxpayer’s business or home. In general, when a Revenue Officer is assigned to a case, the taxpayer will be required to complete the required financial forms, provide proof of income, expenses, list of assets, bank statements and other required financial documents. This is because the Revenue Officer will conduct a thorough investigation looking into further details regarding the tax liability and taxpayer’s ability to pay the outstanding tax liability.
Individuals who have been notified that a Revenue Officer is now handling their tax case may want to seek the assistance of a tax attorney. The attorney can help communicate with the IRS and assist in getting the tax liability settled. In some cases, it may be possible to qualify for an offer in compromise. This means, if qualified, it may be possible to settle the liability for less than the amount owed. The tax attorney can help with this process or determine if another tax relief program is best for an individual’s situation.