How Are IRS Revenue Agents and Revenue Officers Different?
The IRS employs both revenue agents and revenue officers. While the titles are very similar, the work that these professionals perform is different. If you ever have to interact with the IRS, such as if your tax statements are audited or you owe delinquent tax, then understanding how each of these positions operates can be an advantage.
Knowing the types of work that revenue agents and revenue officers perform will help you to better understand IRS processes and what you can expect from your interactions with these professionals. Want help dealing with IRS employees? Whether you’re dealing with revenue officers or agents, we can help. Contact Damien’s Law for a free consultation today.
What Do IRS Revenue Agents Do?
If you ever receive notice that your taxes are being audited, then chances are you will work with an IRS revenue agent. Revenue agents don’t collect owed taxes or fees, but they do perform audits of your tax returns. Revenue agents are highly trained, so they can perform audits of complicated tax returns, including those filed by individuals, businesses, trusts, and non-profits.
If a revenue agent contacts you, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve done anything wrong. Auditing tax returns gives tax agents a chance to make sure that you’re filing your taxes correctly. It’s possible that an agent may find errors in your tax deductions, and an audit could reveal that you’re overpaying your taxes. Of course, the reverse can be true, and you may find that you owe more than you’ve paid.
To perform an audit, a revenue agent will first contact you by mail. Then, the agent will meet with you at your home or office, an IRS office, or your tax rep’s office. The revenue agent has the right to collect financial information needed to perform the audit. At the end of the audit, the agent will inform you in writing of the results, including any additional taxes that you may owe. At that point, while you will be expected to pay your taxes owed, the revenue agent won’t take action to collect those delinquent taxes. That’s where a revenue officer may come into play.
What Do IRS Revenue Officers Do?
IRS revenue officers are responsible for collecting substantial amounts of taxes owed. You’re likely to be assigned a revenue officer if you owe more than $100,000 in taxes or if the IRS Automated Collection System (ACS) has been unable to collect your delinquent taxes.
For years, the IRS has required revenue officers to first contact you via an in-person meeting at a location like your home or place of employment, and these meetings were often unannounced. In 2023, the IRS changed that policy, ending unannounced visits and helping to improve the safety of both taxpayers and their revenue officers. Now, except in a few cases, revenue officers will mail you a letter to schedule a meeting.
To accomplish their goal of collecting unpaid taxes, IRS revenue officers have the ability to subpoena documents, obtain search warrants, and levy accounts receivables. They can check your credit to evaluate if you’re able to pay your taxes. If you don’t work out an arrangement, officers can even initiate the process of seizing your assets, including your home, personal, and business assets.
While revenue officers work to ultimately get you to pay your delinquent taxes, they also have tools and options that can help you, and you can use that relationship to your advantage. Revenue officers can help you set up a payment agreement, which provides a structured repayment path with payment timelines to help you gradually repay your taxes without having to come up with a lump sum.
If you are honest with your assets and finances to the officer and truly can’t afford to pay your taxes, you can submit an offer in compromise. The offer in compromise would allow you to settle your debt for less than you owe, but it can be hard to qualify for. Revenue officers may be able to help you in other ways, too, such as waiving tax penalties that you face for overdue tax bills. If you face significant financial hardship, the officer will work to verify that hardship with documentation. Then, they might decide to suspend your delinquent tax collection and mark your account as currently uncollectible.
How Are IRS Revenue Agents and Revenue Officers Similar?
The work that revenue agents and revenue officers perform helps to enforce the federal tax code, which helps to fund the country and keep it operating. The IRS employs both types of positions throughout the country.
Both revenue agents and officers may perform in-person visits, and they will often communicate with you initially by mail. It’s important to be honest and upfront when interacting with revenue agents and revenue officers.
What Are Some Key Differences Between IRS Revenue Agents and Revenue Officers?
Both IRS revenue agents and revenue officers play key roles in supporting the work of the IRS, but these positions differ in significant ways, too. The most major difference is in the type of work that revenue agents and officers perform. Revenue agents focus on performing tax audits, seeking to identify and correct mistakes. However, agents don’t collect taxes.
Revenue officers are responsible for collecting delinquent taxes, and they often focus on accounts with larger amounts of owed taxes. If you’re working with a revenue officer and feel that an error has been made and you don’t owe the amount that they are trying to collect, then you would need to work with a revenue agent to correct the error.
The permissions and capabilities of each role differ, too. Revenue agents have the ability to correct filing errors, but revenue officers can’t make corrections to tax filings. Revenue officers have the ability to make other types of changes, such as filing extensions, waiving tax penalties, and creating payment plans. In extreme cases, if a revenue officer has been unsuccessful in collecting the taxes you owe, the officer also has the ability to garnish wages, levy your bank accounts, and seize your assets, like your home.
Do You Need Representation When Speaking With an IRS Revenue Agent or Revenue Officer?
If an IRS revenue agent contacts you to notify you that your taxes are going to be audited, then it’s important to get organized and prepared. And if an IRS revenue officer contacts you, then chances are you have a large outstanding tax balance that you need to address.
It’s a good idea to get professional help in both of these situations. With a Mississippi tax lawyer on your side, you’ll be better organized and prepared for the process.
Ask Us Your Questions
At Damiens Law Firm, PLLC, we help taxpayers with their IRS interactions. We’re here to answer every question that you have and advise you about your rights and the best course of action for your specific situation. You’ll have a knowledgeable team of professionals to help you, so you will understand the ins and outs of everything that happens.
Get Help and Save Time
Whether you’re dealing with a revenue officer or a revenue agent, interacting with the IRS to resolve an issue is nerve-wracking. It’s also time-consuming. An IRS tax debt attorney can do much of that work for you, helping you to feel confident that you’re being well-represented. We can also file forms for you and handle most of the interaction for you, so you’ll have the reassurance of knowing that our experienced team is taking care of the issue.
Make the Right Decisions
When interacting with the IRS, it’s important to be well informed of your options so you can make the best decisions based on your financial and tax situation. Our team can help you to explore your options and can advise you about the pros and cons of each decision. Then, we can guide you through the option that you choose, helping you through the entire process of solving your tax problems.
If you’ve received a letter from the IRS or know you’re delinquent on your taxes, now is the time to act. Contact or call us at (901) 456-7169 for a free consultation today.