IRS Becoming More Aggressive Regarding Summons Enforcement

Posted on January 25, 2017

We have a client that has some unpaid assessed liability due to the IRS along with unfiled tax returns.  Our client is working with his accountant to cause the preparation of the unfiled tax returns, but is doing so at a very slow pace.

Further, we have asked our client to produce financial information in order to allow us to prepare an IRS Form 433A, Financial Statement, on his behalf to determine the options that may be available to him vis a vis the IRS.  Our client has been slow to provide the requested financial information to us.

Unfortunately, the IRS lost patience with our client because of the slow pace he is taking to address his IRS matters.  As a result, the IRS served two Summonses upon our client seeking the filing of the unfiled tax returns and the delivery of his financial information.  Our client chose to ignore the Summons, preferring to continue to work on the preparation of the unfiled tax returns and the accumulation of the requested financial information at his slow pace.

An IRS Summons is a formal written demand by the IRS asking you to provide the information requested therein to the IRS by a date certain.  In our case, the IRS Summonses asked for the filing of the unfiled tax returns and for the provision of our client’s financial information.

We warned our client that the IRS may seek a court order to enforce the Summons, and that is exactly what has happened.  Our client now faces a Petition to Enforce IRS Summons and an Order to Show Cause in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

The current posture of this case teaches us several things.  First, it is not wise to ignore an IRS Summons because you may be dragged before a federal judge to explain why you ignored the Summons.  Second, it teaches us that the IRS is becoming more aggressive in terms of enforcing the Summonses that it issues.

In the past, the IRS rarely took steps to enforce its Summonses.  Do you have unfiled tax returns or unpaid liability due to the IRS? Has the IRS recently issued a Summons to you?  Contact us, we can help.

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