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BulldogTom

Advice please - Collections and IRS Rev Officer

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I need some advice.   I have been working with a client for a couple of years.   Contractor, way behind on 941 payments and 1040 payments.   Hundreds of thousands in taxes and hundreds of thousands in penalties owed to IRS.   We got all the returns filed about a year ago.   I called the IRS to start working on a payment plan.   PPS said I had to wait for the service to assign to a Revenue Officer because of the size of the amount due.   Waited about 4-5 months for that to happen.   RO called me about 4 months ago and left a message saying she was making a business visit  that day.  Showed up at client's home and no one was there.   Left a letter.   I responded and got the answering machine.   She called me back 2 weeks later saying she did not have my POA?  (then why did she call me in the first place?).   I sent over my POA.   Called an left a message that I sent POA and requesting a phone conference.   3 weeks until a reply.   We finally have a conversation that I thought went really well.   We discussed why the client could not file an offer (too much equity in the home, but no way to tap that equity because of credit history).   She asked for a large amount of documentation and set up a meeting at client's shop.   She set the date and time.   We faxed over everything she asked for and went to his shop for the meeting.  

She never showed up.   I left 2 messages for her that day, and 2 more over the next two weeks.   Nothing.   She has gone dark on me for a month.

If the IRS shuts down the business, they will lose their home and the IRS will get a decent chunk of money (almost enough to cover the taxes, not the penalties) after the bank forecloses.   But my client will be homeless in the Bay Area.   Obviously, that is not the outcome that my client hired me to get.

Her voice mail has the phone number for her supervisor.   I am thinking about calling him, but I am afraid that if I piss off the RO, she will not be cooperative on a payment plan.  But she may have gotten sick or something and there is a good reason she has gone dark.   But I have never had so much trouble talking to an IRS RO after they take on a case.   They are usually good because they want to close the case.   I have provided everything she asked for, we just need to talk and move forward with her decision.

I have never had this happen before and I don't really know how to proceed.   Any advice?

TIA

Tom
Modesto, CA

 

 

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Given the circumstances, I don't think you have any choice but to contact the supervisor.  Maybe start with a diplomatic  message on the RO's voice mail that you will need to do this if she doesn't get back to you within X days.  Your message could point out that you hope the RO is OK with respect to health, work load, or whatever,  and  the last thing you want to do is potentially create any problems for the RO internally, but you're worried about protecting your client's interests. 

I'll be interested in hearing what others advise to do in this situation. 

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There are two suggestions, so far, and both might be worth pursuing.

RO's do get sick, get transferred, have accidents, go on leave, retire and some even die.  However, I suspect that she has a large case load and is jumping from one case to the other and that me why she talked OIC.  That would get you out of her hair.

John's approach is what I usually use.   In this case, where there have been multiple lapses, I would definitely contact the supervisor.  You could also request that a different RO be assigned to your case, but you seem to like her, so maybe you don't want to do that.

As for closing down the business, that only happens when taxpayers are continually uncooperative, try to hide money, or keep defaulting on installment agreements.

If you don't get any results from the supervisor, then, by all means, call TPAS.  Be sure to tell them it is URGENT, otherwise you will wait for weeks to hear back from then.

 

 

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I like John's suggestion, and Max's.  I'd call the RO and leave a message that you will call supervisor TOMORROW if you don't hear - certainly not more time than another day or two.  This has gone on long enough.  And I'd change John's last line from "worried about protecting client's interest" to "my responsibility is to protect the client's interest" because that is accurate and carries more weight.

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Low and behold, she called me today.   Amazing how useful this board is.   I know her ears were burning from us talking about her.

Says she had a death in her family the day before our meeting.  Just getting back to work.   I want a job where I can take 5 weeks bereavement. 

Tom
Modesto, CA

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On 9/10/2018 at 8:09 PM, BulldogTom said:

Low and behold, she called me today.   Amazing how useful this board is.   I know her ears were burning from us talking about her.

Says she had a death in her family the day before our meeting.  Just getting back to work.   I want a job where I can take 5 weeks bereavement. 

Tom
Modesto, CA

Move to NY, we now have bereavement leave of 3 months.  [pending governors signature on bill]

NY bill mandates 3 months paid bereavement leave, even when grandparents die

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don't forget that any  payments made should clearly state "for trust funds only"   Officers are basically just held responsible for payroll taxes withheld, not for the company's portion.

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On 9/10/2018 at 5:09 PM, BulldogTom said:

Low and behold, she called me today.   Amazing how useful this board is.   I know her ears were burning from us talking about her.

Says she had a death in her family the day before our meeting.  Just getting back to work.   I want a job where I can take 5 weeks bereavement. 

Tom
Modesto, CA

Federal employees only get 13 days of sick leave a year, which they can use for bereavement.  They also get to accumulate the sick leave, so that's most likely what happened.

Tom, you can get 20 days for bereavement, if you can get a job at Facebook.

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