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How to know it’s really the IRS calling or knocking on your door: Collection

Revenue officers are IRS civil enforcement employees who work cases that involve an amount owed by a taxpayer or a delinquent tax return.  Their role involves education, investigation, and when necessary, appropriate enforcement.

Generally, home or business visits are unannounced because scheduling appointments for such matters would be inconsistent with their proactive and urgent nature.  For example, many urgent and complex cases involve employers’ employment tax withholding requirement.

Revenue officers carry two forms of official identification.  Both forms of Identification have serial numbers – and you can ask to see both.

Revenue Officer Visits 

  • The vast majority of collection cases begin as letters (called “notices”) sent to taxpayers because the case is unresolved.  A significant number of these cases are also previously worked by the Automated Collection System – an IRS program that tries to resolve the taxpayer’s account over the phone directly with the taxpayer after a notice sent to the taxpayer was unsuccessful at resolving the situation.  
     
  • A small portion of the revenue officers’ work involves proactive outreach to employers, called Federal Tax Deposit Alerts, sent at the earliest sign that a business taxpayer is falling behind on payroll tax deposits. These are generally not preceded by a notice.
     

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 10-Apr-2017