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IRS Revenue Agent and IRS Revenue Officer – Different roles & responsibilities

Although an IRS revenue agent – RA and IRS revenue officer – RO may sound like the same title, there are actually differences between them that you should know. While most individuals may never have to face an IRS audit for example, understanding how the different agents and officers operate can be quite important just in case you are facing the IRS.

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What is an IRS Revenue Agent – RA?

A revenue agent’s primary job is to audit those who pay taxes to the IRS. This means that they assess the tax return you have filed to determine if an audit is necessary. You normally become aware of the IRS revenue agent when they send notices to you through the mail. Such notices inform you of the examination scope, and items to be examined and audited, they also inform you of the deemed necessary amount for you to pay at end of audit.

What is an IRS Revenue Officer – RO?

A revenue officer is employed by the IRS field collection office to collect the money that has been deemed owned by you or your business. Despite the title of officer, they are not the police nor do they carry a gun or badge when in performance of their duties. Their entire job is to collect the money that is deemed owed by you due to unfiled returns, unpaid back taxes, or dues from audit conducted by the revenue agent.

It is possible depending on the amount owed that you never see the revenue officer. If the amount is quite low, then not paying it directly may mean that it is deducted from the tax refund you might receive the following year.

Differences between ROs & RAs

The main difference is that the IRS revenue agent determines whether you owe more than what you paid thanks to the audit they have conducted. While the IRS revenue officer carries out the task of collecting the money from you. This means that if you disagree with the audit that was made, you need to follow the procedures for challenging the audit and appeal. Such measures work through the IRS revenue agent.

With the IRS revenue officer, the negotiations are about the money that you owe. This means that you can pay the amount in full, enter a collection agreement, or make some other deal that allows you to pay what is owed. However, the powers of the IRS revenue officer are quite powerful, they can levy your bank accounts, garnish paychecks, attach social security benefits, etc. so the negotiation is focused on what is determined that you owe, not in changing that determination.

If you are in a situation when an IRS revenue officer appears at your home or place of business, then it is important to understand what they do. It is also important to know that the revenue officer may not have the ability to agree even to the disposal of money that is agreed you owe which can be quite a headache.

It means knowing the differences between an IRS revenue agent and IRS revenue officer is vital, so you can take the appropriate action. Having a knowledgeable, experienced EA, CPA, tax attorney by your side can be quite helpful when faced with either an agent or officer of the IRS.

Get IRS tax help by calling us at 1-877-788-2937.

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