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Understand The Differences Between IRS Revenue Agents and Revenue Officers

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is responsible for ensuring that taxpayers comply with tax laws and regulations. To accomplish this, the IRS employs two types of professionals who work with taxpayers: Revenue Agents and Revenue Officers. While both Revenue Agents and Revenue Officers work for the IRS, their roles and responsibilities are different.

Revenue Agents

Revenue Agents are IRS employees who are responsible for conducting audits of tax returns. An audit is also known as an examination.  Revenue agents can audit individuals, businesses, trusts, or non-profit organizations. Revenue Agents typically have a degree in accounting, finance, or a related field, and they receive extensive training in tax law and auditing procedures.

Their main role is to ensure that taxpayers have accurately reported their income and deductions on their tax returns. Just because your tax return is under examination doesn’t mean you’ve done something wrong.

If appropriate, a Revenue Agent can refer an audit case for civil fraud penalties or to IRS Criminal Investigations.

Revenue Officers

Revenue Officers, on the other hand, are responsible for collecting taxes that are owed to the IRS. They work with taxpayers who have unpaid tax liabilities, and their main goal is to collect the money owed to the government.  If you believe you don’t owe the tax, they won’t be able to help you. You’ll need to seek audit reconsideration or file an Offer in Compromise based on doubt as to liability.

A Revenue Officer will attempt to collect the outstanding tax debt as quickly as possible. Revenue Officers have the authority to take a variety of actions to collect taxes, including issuing liens and levies on a taxpayer’s assets. They may visit a taxpayer’s home or business to discuss their tax liability, and they may work with other government agencies to collect information about a taxpayer’s assets and income.

Revenue Officers typically deal with taxpayers with high dollar balances who have failed to pay or make arrangements to pay their tax debt despite receiving numerous letters from the IRS requesting payment.  They also handle payroll tax cases when an employer fails to remit withholding taxes and can recommend the assessment of the 100%  trust fund recovery penalty against responsible parties.

A Revenue Officer has the authority to accept collection alternatives such as an installment agreement or currently not collectible status.

Get Help with an IRS Audit or Collection Matter

In summary, Revenue Agents’ and Revenue Officers’ roles and responsibilities are different. Revenue Agents focus on auditing tax returns to ensure compliance with tax laws, while Revenue Officers focus on collecting unpaid taxes from taxpayers who owe back taxes.

Whether you’re dealing with a revenue agent or a revenue officer, you have certain rights as a taxpayer. If you’re facing an IRS audit or the IRS is trying to collect back taxes from you, it’s advisable to consult with a tax professional that understands your rights and can negotiate on your behalf with the Revenue Agent or Revenue Officer handling your case. Call East Coast Tax Consulting Group at 561-826-9303 for a FREE consultation.


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You deserve the best in IRS tax representation, tax preparation, and tax planning services. At East Coast Tax Consulting Group, you’ll work with a licensed CPA who will handle your case from beginning to end. We invite you to contact our team to schedule a free, confidential consultation.