Working with an IRS Revenue Officer: What You Need to Know

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the thought of dealing with the IRS, especially if it involves a revenue officer?

It’s common to feel stressed when people face tax debt relief issues, IRS penalties, or even filing a tax extension. These situations can turn complicated quickly, leaving you unsure of how to proceed.

In this blog post, we’re going to ease that burden.

We’ll dive into what it means to work with an IRS revenue officer, who they are, and what their job involves. More importantly, our in-house former IRS agent will walk you through comprehending their role and successfully navigating the process.
So, let’s get started and make the process simpler.

The Role of a Revenue Officer

A revenue officer is an individual within the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). They are assigned cases that involve taxpayers who have outstanding tax liabilities or who have failed to file their tax returns.

Their primary objective is to investigate these cases and bring them to a resolution. Revenue officers are evaluated based on the quality of their work and the efficiency with which they handle their caseload.

How Revenue Officers Handle Cases?

When a revenue officer picks up a case, they need to act fast. The IRS doesn’t like to wait around. They want cases solved quickly to avoid backlogs and delays. So, what does this mean for the revenue officer and, more importantly, for you?

The IRS sets specific deadlines for solving different tax issues. These deadlines can vary. Some cases need to be looked at every month, while others might be checked less often, like every three or six months. It depends on what the IRS management expects for each type of case.

For revenue officers, this means they have to be quick and thorough. They have to gather all the necessary information, make sense of it, and decide how to solve the case within the given time. They’re under pressure to keep things moving and prevent cases from dragging on.

For taxpayers, this means that once a revenue officer contacts you, respond quickly and provide all the requested information. The faster you can work together, the quicker your case can be resolved. Remember, the goal here is to clear up any tax issues you have before they grow into bigger problems.

3 Possible Outcomes in Closing Cases

When you face IRS issues, understanding how cases can be resolved brings some peace of mind. Let’s break down the three main solutions that revenue officers use to close cases:

  1. Hardship Closure
    Imagine facing a situation where, no matter how you crunch the numbers, you just can’t afford to pay your tax debt. This is where the hardship option comes into play. About 40% of IRS cases end this way.If a taxpayer can prove that they’re in a financial bind and paying their tax debt is beyond their means, the IRS may close the case due to hardship. This doesn’t erase the debt, but it can pause collection actions, giving you breathing room to get back on your feet financially.
  2. Payment Agreements
    Now, let’s talk about a more common scenario – payment agreements. Each year, the IRS sets up around 6.5 million of these tax payment plans. If you owe taxes but can’t pay the full amount upfront, you might be able to make smaller, more manageable payments over time. This approach is beneficial for both sides: you avoid the stress of a lump-sum payment, and the IRS ensures they collect the owed taxes, just spread out.
  3. Offer in Compromise (OIC)
    The third of all other tax payment options is an IRS Offer in Compromise, or OIC. This option allows you to settle your tax debt for less than the full amount you owe. It’s more like a negotiation where, if you can prove that paying the full amount is unrealistic due to your financial situation, the IRS might agree to accept a lower amount. While not everyone qualifies for an OIC, it can be a lifeline for those who do, allowing them to clear their tax debt and start fresh.The Revenue Officer (RO) won’t directly handle your Offer in Compromise (OIC). Instead, they’ll review your submission and forward it to a specialized team for detailed evaluation. They’re mainly checking to ensure your offer is complete and eligible for consideration.
    Out of roughly 58,000 OICs submitted annually, the IRS typically approves about 20,000. On average, accepted offers settle for around $16,000.
    When you understand these options, dealing with tax issues becomes less scary. But, each path has its own set of rules and requirements. Knowing that there are solutions can provide a sense of control over what can often feel like an overwhelming process.

Working with Revenue Officers: Dos and Don’ts

When you deal with an IRS revenue officer, there are certain guidelines you should follow to ensure a smooth process. Moreover, tax debt management can often feel overwhelming, but there are steps you can take to address it. Here is a closer look:

  • Meeting Deadlines
    One essential aspect of working with revenue officers is meeting all the deadlines they set. Failure to do so can result in serious consequences, such as the IRS issuing a federal tax lien, wage garnishment, or bank levy. These actions can significantly impact your financial situation and should be avoided at all costs.
  • Getting Professional Help
    If you find yourself in a situation where a revenue officer is involved in your case, it may be wise to seek professional help. Working with a tax attorney experienced in dealing with the IRS can provide you with valuable guidance and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.
  • The Importance of Documenting Expenses
    When the IRS reviews your case, they will meticulously analyze your financial statements and expenses. It is essential to provide accurate documentation that supports your claimed expenses. The IRS will compare your income with your cost of living and verify it against your tax returns and bank statements. They want to ensure that you are living within your means.
  • National, Regional, and Localized Standards
    The IRS has established national, regional, and localized standards for various expenses. These standards dictate what expenses the IRS will allow when evaluating your financial situation. Familiarizing yourself with these standards is crucial, as failing to adhere to them can lead to complications in your case. If you are unsure about these standards, it is advisable to consult a professional who can guide you through the process.


Working with an IRS revenue officer can be challenging. However, by understanding their role and responsibilities, as well as following the necessary steps and guidelines, you can make the process simpler.
Remember to be prompt, accurate, and thorough in all your dealings with the IRS. If you require any further assistance or have any questions, feel free to reach out to us. We are here to help.


Mr. Joshua A. Webskowski

Joshua specializes in successfully resolving cases in all areas of tax resolution including liens, levies, & other IRS collections cases.

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