Monday, March 16, 2009

10 Frustrating Things You Can Expect in Dealing Directly with the IRS

I recently put together an article on 10 frustrating things you can expect in dealing directly with the IRS for my law firm's blog. Check out a portion of the article below, but you can read the full version at

1. No Contact Made by Representative

Although you may have obtained representation, the IRS will oftentimes contact you directly. When you inform the IRS that you are represented, do not be surprised if the IRS representative informs you that your representative has not made contact with them. While sometimes this may be true—e.g. early in the representation before you return your signed IRS Form 2848, Power of Attorney—oftentimes it is just a result of poor record management by the IRS.

If this happen to you, request the IRS representative’s contact information (name, IRS identification number, telephone number, and fax number), and then instruct the IRS representative that you have representation. Also, let the IRS representative know who your representative is and that your representative will be in contact with him or her shortly. Do not provide any additional information to the IRS representative even if requested. Thereafter, contact your representative and inform him or her of what occurred. Your representative can take the appropriate steps thereafter on your behalf.

2. Lost in the Mail

Although the IRS is not to contact you via telephone after you hire a representative, you will continue to receive correspondence from them in the mail. The IRS should also send a copy of this correspondence to your representative, but oftentimes it seems to get lost “in the mail.” Thus, to ensure that your representative is properly notified of any information provided to you by the IRS, you should immediately forward to your representative a copy of any IRS notices that you receive. This ensures that your representative remains informed as to what the IRS is doing or threatening to do regarding your IRS back tax liability.

3. Surprise At-Home or At-Work Visits

An IRS representative may show up at your home or place of business to confront you about your back tax liability. This may occur if you are missing many tax returns or if you owe the IRS a substantial sum of money. Typically, the IRS representative is a Revenue Officer assigned to your account.

In this situation, you should request the IRS representative’s identification number and contact information and inform him or her that you have representation to assist you in resolving your tax problem. Inform the IRS representative that he or she is to communicate solely with your representative. You need not answer any other questions. Once the IRS representative leaves your location, immediately contact your representative and inform him or her of the encounter. Your representative can take the appropriate steps thereafter on your behalf.

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