When an IRS Agent shows up at your home, he or she is more than likely a Revenue Officer from a local IRS District Office looking to collect past due taxes or unfiled tax returns or both. During the initial contact, the Revenue Officer is required to provide their title, last name and employee identification number. The Revenue Officer is required to ask if you received Publication 1 Your Rights as a Taxpayer and if you had any questions. If you feel uncomfortable conducting this meeting with the Revenue Officer, you have the right to retain representation to conduct this meeting for you at a later date. If you have retained representation, you are not required to be present at any meeting with the IRS unless a summons is issued. If for some reason you decided you would take this meeting with the Revenue Officer and during this meeting you felt you were over your head, you can stop the meeting at anytime. Once you indicate that you want to stop the meeting to consult with a representative, the Revenue Officer is required to suspend the meeting to permit such consultation. The Revenue Officer will allow up to 10 business days to permit such consultation with a representative and advise you of the consequences if you or the representative fails to contact the Revenue Officer within this timeframe.
During the initial contact with the taxpayer the Revenue Officer is required to do the following:
- Request immediate full payment of taxes due. If full payment cannot be made a partial payment will be requested.
- Request immediate filing of all past due tax returns.
- If the taxpayer indicates the liability is incorrect, the Revenue Officer will allow the opportunity to file an amended tax return or trace payment
- Determine if the taxpayer is making estimated tax payments if self-employed
If the Revenue Officer cannot resolve the matter during this initial home visit, he or she will discuss a realistic plan for resolution. Once this plan is discussed with the taxpayer, the Revenue Officer will prepare Form 9297 Summary of Taxpayer Contact which provides the details of the plan which is very specific. For example, file Form 1040 for 2012, 2013 and 2014 no later than August 24,2016, complete Collection Information Statement Form 433-A https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f433a.pdf no later than September 1, 2016. The Revenue Officer will have the taxpayer sign the form and warn them of the consequences of not meeting the specific time frames. The consequences for missing deadlines, are wage levies, bank levies and summons.
If the Revenue Officer arrives at your home and you are not there, he or she will leave Form 2246 Field Contact Card which is used to advise taxpayers how to contact them. As a general rule, the time frame for a taxpayer to respond should be two business days. IRS Revenue Officers work out of local district offices. In New Hampshire, the primary district offices are located at 80 Daniel Street, Portsmouth, NH and 1000 Elm Street, Manchester, NH. In Massachusetts the primary district office is located at 1 Montvale Avenue, Stoneham, MA.