What is the difference between an IRS Revenue Officer and an IRS Special Agent?

Do you have any friends on the right wing of the political spectrum who like to talk about “men in black helicopters?” Well, that's a pretty good description of IRS Special Agents. While these government functionaries don't usually have recourse to actual helicopters, they are licensed to carry guns, and they're also empowered to search an individuals' home or office after presenting a suitable search warrant.

Broadly speaking, you're in much more serious trouble if the IRS chooses to assign a Special Agent to your case, rather than a revenue officer. Revenue officers are appointed whenever a citizen owes a large amount of back taxes—usually as a result of not reporting income, overstating his number of dependents, or simply lying on his tax return.  They don't have the right to search or seize property. The IRS, on the other hand, dispatches special agents, whenever an individual's federal tax avoidance is linked to criminal conduct.

Simply put, if you're a cocaine distributor who makes millions of dollars in undeclared income every year, you'll likely be pursued by an IRS Special Agent, in addition to whatever state and federal officials are on your tail. If you're an ordinary homeowner who has incurred a $100,000 tax bill thanks to a series of poor financial decisions, a revenue officer will probably visit you.

There's one other major difference between an IRS special agent and an IRS revenue officer: if you're visited by the former, you'll need to hire a criminal attorney, while if you're visited by the latter, a good tax attorney will do just fine. Any questions? Call the experienced Oklahoma tax lawyers at Travis W. Watkins, PC, by calling 800-721-7054 to schedule a free consultation!