Is the IRS Automated Collection Service Preferable to an IRS Revenue Officer? It depends

Dealing with an unpaid tax debt is often a stressful experience. At some point, the IRS will have a representative contact you in order to resolve the unpaid debt. For some taxpayers, this contact will come in the form of a letter or phone call from the Automated Collection Service. Other taxpayers may be contacted by an IRS Revenue Officer, either by phone, letter, or an unannounced visit to your home or office. Whether one of these options is preferable to the other depends upon a variety of factors.

Factors That Will Impact Your Experience with the IRS

Whether you will be assigned an IRS Revenue Officer or a representative of the Automated Collection Service depends on the following:

  • The type of your tax liability
  • The size of your tax liability
  • Whether this is your first time dealing with the collections process for IRS tax debt
  • The specific details of your financial condition

So, which is preferable? That depends on quite a few different factors. There are pros and cons to each. With an Automated Collection Service, you may experience the following:

  • Being placed on hold frequently and for long periods of time.
  • Dealing with different (and faceless) people every time you call the Automated Call Center.
  • Working with someone who has no familiarity with your tax situation.

On the other hand, with an IRS Revenue Officer, you are likely to experience:

  • Working with someone who is based locally, understanding that they could stop by unannounced.
  • Sitting through face-to-face meetings if the Revenue Officer insists upon it.
  • Your Revenue Officer will not change, so if he or she is pleasant and helpful, you will have a much better experience than if he or she is confrontational and difficult to work with.

When it comes to dealing with the IRS over an unresolved tax problem, knowledge is power. Most taxpayers are inexperienced working through the tax debt collection process. We encourage you to learn more about the process today by reviewing our free guide, The Ultimate Survival Guide for IRS Problems.