Can I represent myself before the IRS?
Look, collection officials are underpaid and overworked. Your case is 1 among many that the officer must move off his desk in a given month, or he must answer to superiors if he doesn't. The quickest route from Point A to Point B for an agent is to find the carotid artery to the money. That route is usually collecting enough information to formulate a bank or wage levy. The rest is immaterial to them until they have tried those avenues, unless you have a plan in place. For example, I had a client try to tell a collection officer how he did not owe the money, and the officer literally told him, "well, this is boring!"
Tax professionals have a couple of burning arrows that an individual usually does not think of or know about. Those weapons are the Collection Due Process (CDP) Hearing and the Appeal. Very few taxpayers have the resolve to stand firm with these weapons in the face of insurmountable pressure by an officer to pay or else. Attorneys are also in a unique position as a representative because they have the power to file a lawsuit in addition to the above strategies.
If you feel that you must represent yourself, please take a moment to read our 3 Things You Never Tell the IRS. You will be glad you did!