Over the years, I’ve learned that when dealing with an IRS Revenue Officer where there the threat of collection, you must pick and choose very carefully when to get tough and when to back off. If you’ve got your head in between the jaws of a Lion, it’s often best to say, “Nice Lion” and get your head out of its jaws before you get tough.
In my first contact or meeting with the IRS, I won’t submit financial statements unless I absolutely have to. We will almost never sign a Tax Collection Waiver – Form 900 – with the IRS. I will, however, provide a specific date on which I will submit the documents to the IRS.
It’s critically important to recognize that the purpose of the Revenue Officer is to collect money, and get paid in full on their first contact with the taxpayer, or taxpayer’s lawyer. Success depends on understanding that premise, and making it clear to the RO that your goal is to get the matter resolved.
For several reasons I try to do the Revenue Officer’s job for them. I complete and submit the financial documents. This:
A. Shows cooperation.
B. Controls the flow of information to the IRS.
However, you should never just roll over to every IRS demand. Instead, you work in good faith to meet all taxpayer responsibilities and draw the line when the government is not dealing in good faith or is making unreasonable demands. If this happens, a polite yet firm “no” is in order. And it may be necessary to utilize a Collection Due Process Appeal or Taxpayer Assistance Order.
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