Not sure how to handle your IRS or OTC Tax Liability Problem? Get the answers you need to protect your rights!
Attorney Travis Watkins has compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions in response to the overwhelming number of people who are facing tax liens, wage garnishment and other penalties for unpaid taxes. If you are dealing with an insurmountable tax debt, read on to learn how to protect your legal rights.
- Page 1
An IRS guy left a Form 9297 at my office for me. It has a bunch of deadlines and threats on it. What is this form?
IRS Revenue Officers often fill out a 9297 Form - Summary of Taxpayer Contact - memorializing documents, returns and financial information the officer needs from a taxpayer. They give you certain drop dead dates to provide the requested information. Towards the bottom of the form, the officer outlines consequences for the taxpayer's failure to produce the information. These consequences often include assessment of unfiled returns by the Service, lien filings, wage and bank levies and the IRS summons. These are all bad news for a taxpayer. If you have a 9297 get help from an Oklahoma attorney who limits his practice 100% to tax problems before your deadlines run.
An IRS revenue officer came to my business and started asking a bunch of questions and was filling out some forms. Am I a captive audience, and do I have to answer everything he asked on the spot. He said that if I didn't he would issue a summons.
No, you are not a captive audience. You may end the interview at any time. Politely tell the revenue officer, "that's it, I would like to obtain legal representation." Revenue officers are sent to your place of business or home without an invitation for 1 reason: for you to show them the money! A revenue officer must respect your wishes to end the interview to hire a lawyer. However, as you mention, many revenue officers will try to pursuade you to keep talking by threatening a summons. Some will go so far as to try to persuade you not to hire a lawyer despite your stated intentions. Don't fall for it. An IRS summons is a measure reserved for situations where a taxpayer is being openly evasive, but you have a right to a lawyer.
When you ask for a lawyer, you may see a sudden shift in the officer's demeanor. They may tell you that you won't get any better deal with a lawyer, or that they will now be nice to you if won't do it. The value of a lawyer in this situation should be apparent. Knowledge is power, and the only safeguard between the IRS and the taxpayer is PROCEDURE. If you don't know the procedural limits of the officer's power, they darn sure won't tell you.
Can an IRS revenue officer search my premises?
Not without your consent.
It is important, though, to understand the difference between an IRS Revenue Officer, and an IRS Special Agent (Criminal Investigations Division, or CID). A revenue officer is the employee responsible when the IRS left a business card at your office or home, typically. An IRS CID Special Agent is different. Special Agents carry a badge, a gun and may ask you to come downtown. The Special Agent is excluded from this article. Be sure to contact a criminal tax lawyer if you are paid a visit by the Special Agent.
Revenue officers, on the other hand, have been known to talk extensively to business employees while the boss is out and rummage through papers that are in plain sight on the boss' desk and they have a right to do so. You can count on threats and intimidation in most instances. Revenue officers compile the majority of their information from business taxpayers in their initial contact with the boss or company employees if the boss is not around.
Now, IRS revenue officers have lots of power. They can command documentation through the power of the IRS Summons, and they may issue liens and levy on property. However, an IRS Revenue Officer is not a cop! They are regular federal employees. You still have due process and a right to representation by a lawyer. You can stop these encroachments by politely telling the officer that you would like to hire a lawyer. If the officer refuses your request and continues to harass you, you can and should call law enforcement authorities for trespass.
Don't go it alone. You don't have to. Our clients never meet with the IRS once we're involved. Call me, Travis Watkins, at 1-800-721-7054 immediately when you are approached by an IRS Revenue Officer.
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.
An IRS revenue officer left his business card at my home/place of business, what should I do?
Call a lawyer or tax professional immediately! If your case has been assigned to a revenue officer, time is of the essence.
An IRS revenue officer has the right to visit you at your home or place of business if you are not represented by a lawyer or other tax professional. This officer contact can be intimidating, and it is meant to be so. They want your immediate attention, and they will want a litany of documentation from you. If you ingnore these contacts, the officer is likely to make his visits more frequently. A revenue officer may even issue a subpoena for information concerning your finances with deadlines punishable by contempt.
With very few exceptions, our clients never meet with the IRS after the client has signed a power of attorney form for legal represenation. You have a right to legal representation, and any direct officer contact with the taxpayer (without the taxpayer's representative also being present) is a no-no, and can subject the revenue officer to disciplinary action from superiors and the service.
Direct dialogue with a revenue officer is not recommended. They are often overworked, pushy and tend to overreach. Stop the dialogue with the officer and get legal representation. We represent individuals and businesses confronted by IRS revenue officers daily. Call Oklahoma Tax lawyer, Travis Watkins, at 1-800-721-7054 today.