I was a revenue officer for 10 years with the Internal Revenue Service and a teaching instructor as well.


The job of the revenue officer is the closure case once it comes to the field. It is their sole responsibility for the closing of this taxpayer unit.

You should know the case comes from the ACS unit or the automatic collection systems before a revenue officer gets the case.

The ACS unit sends out a series of 4 to 6 letters out depending on the history, the dollar amount and the filing history of the taxpayer. Depending on the dollar amount and the prior history, the case will go to the local office and generally sit in a Queue until that case is ready to be worked.


Why does IRS put the case in queue first.

The manager must determine the workflow of his employees and revenue officers.

Most of the time the dollar amount, the history and possibly the nonfiling elements of the taxpayer  determines how fast that case comes to the field.

The manager cannot just send a flurry of cases out to the local revenue officers but must wait until that revenue officer has a cleared out inventory to process a new case. Many times revenue officers work their cases by ZIP Code or certain geographic area.

Once that revenue officer gets the case it is their job to close the case one way or another. the manager does not want that revenue officer to sit on that case for a long time and therefore establish a timeframe when that case becomes overreached. Overage cases are looked at very closely to find out why they still remain open and in inventory. as a general rule the revenue officer should close that case out within 90 days.


When the case comes into the hands of the revenue officer the first thing the RO does is what is called a full compliance check.


They want to make sure all tax returns are filed and there also going to make sure that the taxpayer is current on estimated payments or your current withholding. The job of the revenue officer is too sure to draw a line in the sand to make sure the taxpayer is compliant moving forward.

The next job of the revenue officers to contact the taxpayer.The revenue officer has a number of alternatives on what to do with the case.

Many simply send a letter, some knock on the door and some send out correspondence. Generally a simple calling card will get the taxpayer in the office. The RO will put on the card the date that he expects to hear from the taxpayer.

Once that date is determined if the taxpayer does not come into the office or ignores the notice, many times the IRS revenue officer may send out a federal tax lien, bank levy, or a wage garnishment notice just to get the attention of the taxpayer.

It’s not done punitively, they just want to get the full attention  of the taxpayer because that person wants to close the case out of their inventory.

The revenue officer’s job therefore is to make sure all tax returns are current, to make a determination on the collection of the case.

Once the case in the local office the revenue officer will use a financial statement called the 433A which is a more complex statement in the 433f used by the ACS unit has.

In preparation to close the case, the revenue officer will want to see the financial statement completely documented along with six months worth of bank statements, copies of pay stubs, and copies of expenses.

After a full review of the financial statement the revenue officer will generally make a determination on the case.


As a general rule those determinations fall into three categories.

The first category is a hardship to the second category is a payment agreement and the third category could be the recommendation to file an offer in compromise.

It is very important for the taxpayer to understand their current financial statement will determine how IRS will close their case.

At the end of the day, the revenue officer will close that case out in the best interest of the government.

The preparation and the giving of the financial statement to the IRS is key to the outcome of the case.

If you are not familiar with the financial statement I would talk to a tax professional so they can prepare and show you in the best like the IRS.

Should you have any questions please call us today.


How Does IRS Work Your Tax Debt Case at the Local IRS Offices With The Revenue Officers

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Mr. Michael D. Sullivan

Michael D. Sullivan is the founder of MD Sullivan Tax Group. He had a distinguished career with the Internal Revenue Service for 10 years. As a veteran IRS Revenue Officer / Agent, he served as an Offer in Compromise Tax Specialist and Large Dollar Case Specialist.

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