So there you are. One day, sitting in your office or home when a Revenue Officer knocks on your door. You wonder, why didn't they call first? Why didn't the Revenue Officer schedule a time that wouldn't be so disruptive?
IRS Revenue Officers must attempt first contact in person
If your business is suspected of owing payroll or other taxes, the Revenue Officer is required to first stop by your business; unannounced. If you are not present at your business the Revenue Officer will leave their business card with someone, or perhaps will leave it taped or jammed into your door or window. The Revenue Officer may then try to find you at home.
We have seen some Revenue Officers that try to get you all flustered and panicked in that first meeting, but most try to keep it as businesslike as possible.
What should you do (and not do) if an IRS Revenue Officer stops by your business?
One of the forms that the Revenue Officer will probably give you is a Form 433-B; this is a collection information statement. This is what the Revenue Officer will use to determine how much to collect from you each month. We advise that you get help to assist you with this form and NOT fill this out yourself.
Revenue Officers may try to push you into an installment agreement or other collection alternative that you can't afford. You have to remember, no matter how nice and professional a Revenue Officer is, their job is to represent the government's best interest and not yours. You have every right to take the time to get help to fill out Form 433-B; you absolutely do not have to fill it out on the spot.
People are often surprised to find out that you can negotiate with the IRS. They know that they can't get blood from a stone, so they will take what they can get. But here's the kicker – you have to prove to them that you truly can't afford to pay a lot of money. When filling out form 433-B, every deduction you can take advantage of should be listed. A mistake people make is trying to hide assets…the IRS is aware of this trick and if they catch you doing this it won't shine a great light on you.
Sometimes in the case of employee embezzlement, this first visit by an IRS Revenue Officer may be a complete surprise. If this is the boat you are in, read this article for some information as to who will be liable for the tax debt; you as the business owner, or the person who did the embezzling?
After this visit by the Revenue Officer, you may feel shaken up – but remember, you are not the first business owner who has had a tax problem and you will not be the last. Don't beat yourself up. We've had clients that are lawyers, doctors, and even IRS employees! There is help!
If you need assistance, contact us to schedule a free, confidential consultation. We've helped so many business owners that were feeling overwhelmed get into compliance. Call us at 888-727-8796 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out some more tips in the video below: