Day in and day out we work with the IRS and their thousands of employees and collection agents and have for several years now. With the recent budget cuts, we are seeing more and more seasoned IRS employees leaving to retire, and new, younger employees being hired. Now don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad thing as I firmly believe that the IRS needs some younger blood in the offices to keep things going in the years to come, but the problem is that these younger employees do not seem to be getting the training that employees did even as recent as 10 years ago. This is creating many problems for not only representatives dealing with the IRS for their clients, but also for taxpayers who are not as versed in the tax laws as a professional is.
If the people in charge at the IRS are confused and unsure of what their own laws, rules and regulations (Internal Revenue Manual) say, then how can we expect to get a fair outcome when dealing with them? Several times I have had to politely ask an IRS employee to reference the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) in order to have them verify that what I am asking for is in their regulations and should be allowed. Does this make them happy? No, not at all, but it does make our client’s happy and get them the best results allowed by law? Absolutely!
The point I am making here, is no taxpayer or their tax professional should be afraid to firmly, yet politely, stand up and challenge the IRS if you KNOW they are wrong. This applies to representatives in the main call centers all the way up to appeals officers and managers within the different departments. Wrong is wrong, and it should not be allowed. Now, this being said, you should never challenge the IRS if you are unsure of the laws and whether or not they are wrong, just because you disagree with their stance on something, does not mean their stance is wrong and you should always be absolutely sure if you are challenging them that you are right. All we are asking for when doing this is for them to follow their own laws and guidelines.
This is one reason why taxpayers should always have expert representation on their side when dealing with delinquent tax matters with the collections department of the IRS. As a taxpayer, you should always ensure that your tax professional is not only versed in IRS collections matters, but is also willing and able to stand up and challenge the IRS on your behalf to ensure the best possible outcome for you.