Can an IRS agent or officer punish me for hiring a lawyer?

No. A taxpayer has an absolute right to hire legal representation for protection against the IRS.  That means that once you sign a power of attorney, you don't have to talk to the IRS anymore, and you shouldn't.  That is one of the biggest benefits you get from hiring local, legal representation. 

However, some revenue officers will tell taxpayers (before they get representation) one or more of the following:

-I'll "work" with you;
-You don't need representation;
-Why would you pay an attorney, when you could use that money to cut a deal with me?

Revenue officers are also infamous for promising to stay out of another area of your tax problems (your individual liabilities if you have corporate tax liabilities, for instance) if you will just cooperate now and not hire local, licensed legal counsel.  Pressure from the officer's superiors then hits and the officer ends up bugging you about the other tax problem anyway.

Don't be surprised to hear one or more of those pressure tactics combined with a thinly (or not so thinly) veiled threat that the revenue officer's hands are tied, and that he must issue a levy, if you move forward with hiring legal representation.  Recognize these tactics for what they are...scare tactics.

A revenue officer offering to "help out" a taxpayer, is a conflict of interest at best or a wolf in sheep's clothing. 

                                                                              Gee, what a big badge you have...

I'm not saying all R.O.'s are unscrupulous, but you need someone who is truly in your corner.  That's what we do and where we come in. 

You have certain rights that must be asserted within a given timeframe, and revenue officers are not the best suited person to advise you of your rights and the associated times you have in which to assert them.  That's because they don't work for you.  A local, licensed lawyer is the most suitable person to advise you of those rights and make sure you are protected.     

If you have been contacted by an IRS revenue officer, don't delay.  Call Travis Watkins' office at 405-607-1192 today.
Travis Watkins
Senior Tax Attorney