Lots of people owe the IRS, but being assigned a revenue officer to your case means the IRS is taking your case more seriously. A revenue officer is an IRS agent that is personally assigned to a tax collections case. They are much more common in business tax cases but can be assigned to personal tax debts as well. Here we will go through the most common reasons for the assignment.
Top Reasons For Being Assigned A Revenue Officer
Payroll Tax Liabilities
Revenue officers are assigned to many payroll tax liability cases. The reason is the IRS only has three years to assign someone personally for a payroll debt. These types of debts do not go away with a closed corporation or LLC unless the IRS does not assign someone the debt in time. They want to assign someone to the debt so even if the entity closes, there is still someone responsible for the debt. Being assigned a revenue agent in these situations is probably the most common.
Repeatedly Not Filing Tax Returns
A case with tax returns not being filed for a long time might get assigned a revenue officer.
Owing More Than $250,000
It used to be $100,000 was the amount due to the minimum for personal cases for being assigned a revenue officer. Another agent told me this was changed to $250,000. However, there are still plenty of cases in the $100,000-$250,000 range that is still assigned. The IRS assigns a revenue officer to these cases because more money is at stake. They see the assignment as a worthwhile expenditure.
IRS Has Tried Other Collections Channels That Failed
The IRS has a system run by a computer called the Automated Collections System or ACS. Liens, levies, and garnishments are issued electronically based on data the IRS has for you on file. The data comes from employers and from wherever you received 1099.
Three things seem to happen once ACS has failed at collecting anything:
- IRS keeps issuing what it can through ACS, getting nothing.
- The case gets placed into Currently Not Collectible status. This is a little different than the version based on financial hardship. This is the IRS essentially shelving the case because they cannot find you.
- A revenue officer is assigned to the case.
If you don’t owe six figures or payroll debts you probably reading this because you are experiencing the situation in #3.
After Being Assigned A Revenue Officer, Is Anything Different?
The difference between having a case in ACS or being assigned a revenue officer has to do with how hard they look at the case. A revenue officer will typically want IRS Form 433-A to review your financial information. ACS or a regular IRS agent at one of the national offices will just want an IRS Form 433-F. The 433-A form is much more detailed. In general, the revenue officer is going to be looking at more detailed information regarding the case. They may not be as willing to easily put the case into hardship status, also called Currently Not Collectible status, as ACS would.
What Should I Do If I Am Assigned A Revenue Officer?
The best thing to do would be to have a qualified tax debt attorney take over your case and handle it for you. If you cannot afford representation, see our tax help guide for information on resolving your own case. Often if a client qualifies for an Offer In Compromise, all tax returns are filed, and any payroll tax debt is already personally assigned, the best route is to go with an Offer In Compromise. Given that your financial situation qualifies, many revenue officers will just ask for a copy of the Offer and you then send the Offer directly to the IRS OIC department. This saves the time of doing a 433-A (non-OIC) and you get straight to the point. If the Offer is accepted, then you are done and the revenue officer that is assigned to your case is done.