What do you do when an IRS employee shows up at your door? If you owe the IRS Back Taxes, then that’s a question worth investigating a bit further.
As a Tax Attorney, I know the steps you need to take if and when the IRS shows up at your home or place of work. Before I share what those steps are I first need to define a couple of different types of IRS employees so that you know exactly what I’m talking about.
The First Type I’m Going to Identify Is Called a Revenue Officer:
A Revenue Officer has certain limited powers. They’re not law enforcement officers, and they don’t carry a badge or a gun. They typically take what’s called a pocket commission. It’s a plastic ID badge of sorts, and they are not authorized to carry firearms.
Typically, revenue officer’s jobs are to go out and collect money from delinquent taxpayers. Revenue officers tend to collect on larger cases rather than smaller cases, although I have dealt with revenue officers on cases below $5000. They have an emphasis on collecting payroll tax cases as opposed to income tax cases. But I have dealt with the revenue officers dealing with income tax matters on a significant number of occasions.
Watch This Short Video to Find out What to Do If an IRS Employee Shows up at Your Door
Now, often, the revenue officer will decide that the best way that they’re going to be able to deal with your particular matter is to show up at your place of business or your residence as the first point of contact.
What does this do?
It makes a tremendous impression on the taxpayers, I’m sure you can attest, but it tends to get the ball rolling. Many Revenue Officers will like to kind of barge their way into your residence because what are they looking for? They’re seeking to see what kind of stuff you have and what kind of lifestyle you live.
Watch This Short Video to Learn the Difference Between an IRS Revenue Officer & an IRS Revenue Agent
You need to know that a Revenue Officer – now remember, these are the folks who are without badges and the guns – a revenue officer is not entitled to enter your residence providing that you don’t have a public area in your residence, and I can’t really think of any public areas in residences off the top of our head – but they’re not entitled to come into your residence, absent a search warrant or a court order of some kind. If they have those particular items, they’re going to be usually accompanied by a local law enforcement, and so there will be no doubt there.
I will encourage you if you’re dealing with a Revenue Officer to not engage them in protracted conversation. I think that you should be polite and you should be civil and that you should indicate that you have a Power of Attorney or you will be getting representation of some sort to help deal with this problem.
Owe the IRS? Watch This Video to Learn What Your Next Steps Should Be
A revenue officer wants to pin you down on day one, and they want you to get to answer certain questions right then and there. These issues are rather complicated in some cases. They are issues that you probably don’t know the answers to right off the top of your head. I think that if you are contacted by a Revenue Officer, that you should contact a tax professional immediately so that he can get the help that you need.
There is another type of IRS employee called an IRS Special Agent. Those folks tend to investigate tax offenses, tax crimes. These folks tend to travel in pairs. They carry gold badges, and they also carry guns. If these folks show up at your place of residence or your business, you don’t want to talk to them under any circumstances. Look, there is nothing you can say to change their minds. You’re going downtown, no matter what. So, do yourself a favor, shut your mouth and get on with it.
Watch This Short Video to Learn the Different Types of IRS Offer in Compromise (OIC)
I can’t tell you in our previous career as a criminal defense attorney how many cases – hundred of cases – that I’ve had where if the client, the defendant had just kept their mouth shut, there was no case. Period. End of discussion.
So, if you find yourself in that particular situation, zip it, shut your mouth, tell them you want to talk to an attorney and that’s the end of the discussion.
If a Revenue Officer shows up at your place of business, what can they do? Well, they can only enter those public areas of your establishment. So in our office, if you were to visit, what there is is you open the front door, and there is a minuscule lobby area, and then there is another doorway, and there is a window. Now, of course, they can’t climb through the window, but they also can’t pass that door because that’s the limit of that public area. In a restaurant, I would suggest that this field is the dining room, it wouldn’t be the kitchen, for example, it wouldn’t be the back offices unless the public has an open invitation to enter those areas.
That’s what you do if you are dealing with a Revenue Officer or an IRS special agent and they appear at your place of residence or your building.
If you’ve had an IRS employee show up at your home or business or have had your wages garnished and you need tax advice…how about giving me a call at (813) 295-7648? I would love to speak with you and see if we can (together) figure out a way to get you out of the mess that you’re in. There are options. But you won’t know what you don’t know until you’ve talked to someone who has been there and done that. You have nothing to lose. The consultation is free.