Does Past Compliance Help? It Depends on Your Revenue Officer

IRS revenue officers are a lot like the teachers you had in high school: some of them are understanding, empathetic, and willing to give you a break, while others are extremely strict—bordering on punitive—and don't like to hear excuses for missing homework or bad grades. This is an especially pertinent distinction if you've had a squeaky-clean record up until the time the IRS nailed you for unpaid taxes, whatever the cause of your infraction (unemployment, divorce, or even sheer absent-mindedness).

The fact is, an IRS revenue officer can, but doesn't necessarily have to, take your past compliance with tax laws into account when addressing your current infraction. Usually, the government will cut you some slack, since they'd rather focus their resources on serial offenders (business owners who pocket payroll taxes, individuals who don't file returns for years on end, etc.).

Occasionally, though, you will wind up with a revenue officer who maintains that your past compliance is completely irrelevant to your present circumstances (a sort of “what have you done for me lately?” attitude).

What can you do if you're faced with one of these by-the-book revenue agents? Your only option is to enlist the aid of an experienced Oklahoma tax lawyer, who can communicate and document your past tax compliance in language which the revenue officer understands, as well as negotiate with him about the strictness of your tax penalty.

Questions? Call the Oklahoma tax experts at Travis W. Watkins, PC (800-721-7054) for a free consultation today!

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