What You Must Do If You Receive an IRS Tax Summons

When the IRS is having difficulty gathering information necessary to determine or collect the taxes that you owe, you may receive a summons. The summons legally requires you to meet with an officer of the IRS and provide the requested information, documents, or testimony.

What to Expect From an IRS Summons

If you receive a summons from the IRS as part of the collection process, you may be required to do any of the following:

  • Testify before the IRS
  • Bring books and records used to prepare a tax return
  • Produce documents to prepare a Collection Information Statement

Your summons will also contain information about an appointment with an officer of the IRS. If you are unable to make the appointment, it is crucial that you contact the IRS right away using the phone number listed on the notice. Failing to comply with the terms of the summons could result in the IRS suing you in federal district court in order to require you to comply with the summons.

In some cases, the IRS will contact a third-party regarding your tax debt. The IRS may issue a third-party summons to such parties as financial institutions, record keepers, or other people who have information relevant to your case. If the IRS issues a third-party summons and it is still undetermined as to whether you actually owe anything to the IRS, you have the right to file the following:

  • A petition to reject the summons
  • A petition to intervene in a suit to enforce a summons to which the third-party did not comply

However, if a third-party summons is issued pertaining to taxes that you already owe, you will not have the ability to file the above petitions.

Even if you receive a summons regarding unpaid tax debt, all hope is not lost. We can help you find a resolution to your problem. Get started learning more today by checking out our free guide, The Ultimate Survival Guide for IRS Problems.