A Revenue Officer (RO) is an individual that is responsible for collecting taxes and other tax debt on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service. The exact actions that a Revenue Officer will perform depends on which agency the field officer works for. Revenue Officers can be employed at a federal, state, or local level. RO’s are assigned to work many taxation issues such as: tax investigations, financial audits, delinquent tax liability debt for both personal and business or delinquent tax return investigator. All these units are part of the IRS automated collections system, ACS. If you allow your account to get severely delinquent with the automated collection system, then your account will have to be assigned to a revenue officer. As criteria for your account to be transferred your tax liability must be more than $250,000.00 assessed.

A main responsibility for a Revenue Officer within the Internal Revenue Service would be to collect a late tax return and/or a tax payment from taxpayers. The Revenue Officer will perform a face-to-face interview with taxpayers by showing up to their place of residence or their business. The Revenue Officer is allowed to make unannounced, in person visits to your home or place of work. They have the power to summons the info they would like to see if you do not willingly cooperate with their requests.  A Revenue Officer can obtain and inspect financial info to determine your tax bill. This includes your bank accounts, accounts receivables or payable accounts and other financial documents to show your cash flow or interest in assets. They can garnish wages and/or levy bank accounts if their requests are not fulfilled. The primary reason this is done is to collect any unpaid taxes through a great deal of intimidation. They are trained to collect the back taxes that are due in the full amount, as fast as they can. They do not take into consideration your current situations nor are they working on your behalf to find a suitable resolution. The most severe collections tactic would be through means of seizing assets. This action will not take place until numerous attempts to resolve the tax debt have been ignored.

 A Revenue Officer will also determine your financial ability to pay the back taxes owed, such as setting up an Installment Agreement. Sometimes they force taxpayers to accept Installment agreement payments that later down the line they are unable to financially afford. If you show no ability to pay and insufficient assets to pay back the tax debt than you may qualify for an Offer in Compromise. This is a collection alternative that is paid in a much shorter period then a payment plan.  Be prepared to disclose information regarding your income and assets. According to www.IRS.gov “The Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA98) became law when the President signed the legislation on July 22, 1998. This new law ushered in dramatic changes in tax law as well as in the structure and functioning of the Internal Revenue Service. The changes affecting the IRS focus mainly on improving customer service and expanding taxpayer rights. “Each case is unique, and it would be in your best interest to hire a tax attorney or Enrolled Agent who focuses on negotiating with the Internal Revenue Service. They will be able to review your financial information before submitting it to the Internal Revenue Service to make sure your income and assets are safe during a RO assignment. Proper review of information can avoid an agent from being able to audit taxpayers’ accounts.

There is a difference between a RO and an IRS Field Revenue Agent. According to bragertaxlaw.com “Revenue Officers are assigned to the most difficult IRS tax debt cases. Those individuals or businesses who the IRS has been unable to collect from through letters, phone calls and tax levies and garnishments generated by IRS computers.” Revenue Officers are not police and therefore do not carry a firearm or have the authority to arrest a taxpayer.

“An IRS revenue agent’s job is to conduct tax audits of individuals and businesses as well as trusts and non-profit organizations. Revenue agents generally conduct tax audits of the most complicated tax returns ranging from small “Schedule C” businesses to the largest multi-national corporations.“ Revenue Agents and Officers generally carry a government ID card worn around their neck.. If you are visited by an IRS agent with a gold badge, that may be a US Treasury Special Agent. These agents are part of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division (CID). Special Agents have the authority to carry guns. They also could criminally investigate you or arrest you.

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