I'm expecting to receive a substantial inheritance soon, which will help me clear my back tax debt. Is it a good idea to tell my IRS revenue officer about this?

No, it isn't. While it's a natural human impulse to share good news—and an inheritance which can clear all of your debts (federal and otherwise) certainly counts as that—there is absolutely no upside to informing the IRS about your anticipated windfall.

First, if you do choose to share this information with your IRS revenue agent, he probably will choose not to believe you. After all, he has dealt with a lot of struggling taxpayers in the course of his career, and you won't be the first one to tell him a just-so story. The agent likely will write you off as a liar and a fraud, and you'll be in a worse negotiating position than before.

Let's imagine, on the other hand, that your claim has the ring of truth, and your IRS agent is inspired to poke around and confirm your story. The first thing he'll do is examine the finances of your soon-to-expire relative, who probably has better things to worry about. If he determines that you will, in fact, be receiving a substantial nest egg soon, he'll make a note of this in your permanent record—and you can expect your tax return on that inheritance to be scrutinized with the proverbial fine-toothed comb.

And what about your current tax debt? Well, the IRS encourages its revenue officers to collect whatever they can, as soon as they can, as aggressively as possible. Medical science is constantly advancing—that ailing great-uncle may well last another five years—so it would be a very foolish revenue officer indeed who extended your tax deadline pending your inheritance. Most likely, you'll still be facing some very strict payment demands from the IRS.

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