What Do I Do If an IRS Employee Shows Up at My Door

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DARRIN T. MISH: Welcome to the IRS Solution Attorney Show. This is the IRS Solution Attorney, Darrin T. Mish. I’m doing a little sideline today. I’m trying to get some technical stuff to work on social media, Facebook live. And that’s why there was a little bit of a delay. How are you doing, Katrina?

KATRINA MADEWELL: I’m doing great. I’m your co-host Katrina Madewell that brings the most today apparently with my android phone. Just saying.

DARRIN T. MISH: We were trying to get show audio to our Facebook Live stream which has been the Holy Grail for me for awhile now. On the iPhone 7’s they don’t have the traditional headphone jack anymore.

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KATRINA MADEWELL: That’s so screwy to me.

DARRIN T. MISH: They have just the lightning jack thing. It’s been a technological challenge. Finally, I broke down today. Let’s let the Android do it. If the Android can do it, let’s just use that. I don’t have to be all Apple-centric.

KATRINA MADEWELL: This is the great debate in our office.

DARRIN T. MISH: We are, we think, running Facebook live with the show audio. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, typically on our Facebook live stream, we’re just using the phone microphone to pick up what Katrina and I are saying, which is the most important part of the show, right? That was a little dig at Pat.

KATRINA MADEWELL: But you want to hear it crisp and clear.

DARRIN T. MISH: The people on Facebook Live have been deprived of Pat George’s witticisms and sarcastic remarks and jokes.

PAT GEORGE: My Dennis the Menace humor.

KATRINA MADEWELL: That is spot on.

DARRIN T. MISH: I get feedback from people who listen to the show, and they say that they like Pat George. I didn’t want to deprive them on the podcast.

KATRINA MADEWELL: We don’t want the people that are listening to do it, so Pat can you go to the IRS Solution Attorney show on Facebook see if we’re sideways?

Pat George: Ok.

DARRIN T. MISH: If you’re driving, don’t do it. If you’re a passenger go ahead.

KATRINA MADEWELL: You can call if you have Bluetooth. 888-404-1010.

DARRIN T. MISH: The topic of the show today is not how to get show audio into your iPhone.

KATRINA MADEWELL: It’s all about Darrin’s tractor.

DARRIN T. MISH: Because apparently, it’s impossible to get show audio with an iPhone, even with an iRig, iRig2, an iRig HD2.

KATRINA MADEWELL: It’s perfect? We got a thumbs up from Pat George.

DARRIN T. MISH: That’s fabulous. The irony is we’re using the old device I’ve had for years to get it into the android. Not the new device that I just bought, which is apparently going back to Amazon.

The topic of today’s show is something that’s near and dear to my heart because it’s scary for folks. It’s what do I do if an IRS employee shows up at my door. And I think that’s important.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Run! Just kidding.

DARRIN T. MISH: Ok, that’s Katrina’s non-legal advice is to slam the door and run. They’ve obviously shown up to throw you in jail, right?

KATRINA MADEWELL: Maybe, you never know. We talked about the ones with gold badges and guns.

DARRIN T. MISH: We’ll talk about that a little bit later. The IRS folks that show up with gold badges and guns. That’s a bit more serious.

KATRINA MADEWELL: I joke about this, but I did have an IRS person come to my door one day.

DARRIN T. MISH: Tell us the story.

KATRINA MADEWELL: It brings back bad memories, but ok.

DARRIN T. MISH: She’s traumatized. She has PTSD.

KATRINA MADEWELL: I was pregnant with my oldest daughter. She’s now 17. I was pregnant at that time, so like 18 years ago. I had a not so nice partner at that time and a bookkeeper that kind of got run off. Long story short, we owed the IRS a lot of payroll taxes and I didn’t know, and that’s why she was there. So, here I am probably 7-9 months pregnant, belly way out to here. I had this female IRS lady that came to my office door. At first, I thought, “what? Is this real?” I thought it was a scam or something.

DARRIN T. MISH: You thought it was a scam before we knew there were such scams.

KATRINA MADEWELL: It just seemed weird.

DARRIN T. MISH: The IRS won’t typically call you until they’ve made the first contact with you. What they do is send you letters, and send you letters, and send you letters, then instead of calling you they just go ahead and show up.

KATRINA MADEWELL: My partner intercepted all the letters. I never saw any of those.

DARRIN T. MISH: What happens a lot, especially in Florida, we’re such a transient population that the IRS sends letters to your last known address. What’s your last known address in IRS land? It’s the address on your last filed tax return. I think we’ve already settled through a couple of years of shows that my clients, typically, don’t file tax returns. Or at least haven’t filed them in quite awhile.

KATRINA MADEWELL: And their addresses are several addresses later.

DARRIN T. MISH: So their addresses are in Indiana or Michigan or New York or New Jersey or wherever they came from. Or it could be five miles from where they live now. People move a lot more in Florida than they do in other states. That’s one of the challenges the IRS has in tracking people down. They’re pretty good at it.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Speaking of addresses and moving, my address on my tax return changed last year. I got this letter; I was asking my CPA about it this morning, I got this weird letter from the IRS I probably should have brought it to you. I didn’t think about it. I got this letter saying something about my address changing, and I wondered if I needed to do anything with it.

DARRIN T. MISH: The answer is, did you change your address?

KATRINA MADEWELL: Yeah, I did.

DARRIN T. MISH: If yes, then no, there’s nothing to worry about. If you did not change your address, then yes, that’s a problem.

KATRINA MADEWELL: I’m sure that ties into what we’re talking about.

DARRIN T. MISH: We can make anything tie into anything if you want to. But, not really.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Is that normal, the IRS always sends you a letter when the address changes? Is that to prevent fraud?

DARRIN T. MISH: It’s trying to prevent people changing your address without you knowing. That’s part of the game. They’re going to direct the refund check to the new address then they’ll take the check and cash it. That’s part of the IRS very low tech method…

KATRINA MADEWELL: I can see where it might be effective.

DARRIN T. MISH: What seems to happen with me, is I have a variety of entities, and a bunch of tax returns has to get filed. It seems like we alternate years. Ok, this year we’re going to use this address, and this year we’ll use that address. Really what’s happening is I’m trying to direct everything to post office boxes because mail is more secure like that. Sometimes tax preparers that work for me put the street address on there. I don’t want the street address on there because it’s not secure. Mail comes later in the day.

There’s another trick since we’re talking about what to do if an IRS employee shows up at your door.

KATRINA MADEWELL: I was going to say, how does that work if you have a PO Box on your tax return?

DARRIN T. MISH: If you use a PO Box on your tax return, it’s going to short circuit a little bit whether a revenue officer shows up at your door or not. The first option isn’t going to be just to look at the address. They’re not going to stake out the post office.

KATRINA MADEWELL: They’re just going to wait for you to show up.

DARRIN T. MISH: They’ll probably use a commercial skip tracing program, and they’re going to find out where you are now. I think that’s what they do as they run skip tracing software to find out where you are.

KATRINA MADEWELL: I think if you have a PO Box you have to give them a home address?

DARRIN T. MISH: Yes, you have to give them an address an I.D. It’s not like the be all end all to keep the IRS from showing up at your door. The best way to make sure the IRS doesn’t show up at your door is….

KATRINA MADEWELL: To pay your taxes maybe?

DARRIN T. MISH: Ding ding ding! Make sure you don’t owe them any money. If you don’t owe them any money, there’s no reason for them to show up.

KATRINA MADEWELL: If you owe them money, call Darrin, and he’ll help you get that fixed.

DARRIN T. MISH: If you owe them money, you just want to go ahead and set your mind to resolving it. Figuring it out. Take one step today.

KATRINA MADEWELL: If that problem is so big, you have no idea where to start, you can call 888-GET-MISH.

DARRIN T. MISH: Take one step today, another step tomorrow and set a goal of dealing with it. If you don’t know what to do, visit my website at getirshelp.com. There are hundreds of pages and videos about what to do if you have an IRS problem. If you feel like you want help, give us a call.

KATRINA MADEWELL: I’m going to get an attorney answer when I ask you this question. You have an IRS person show up at your door, let’s say you owe taxes, and now you’re scared, what should you do and what should you not do? Is there anything you should not say?

DARRIN T. MISH: Here’s what most people’s normal reaction is. Most people think they can talk their way out of everything.

KATRINA MADEWELL: So they just start talking?

DARRIN T. MISH: What they do is they say, “Oh, Mr. Revenue officer, why don’t you come on in?” Then they have them sit down on their sofa, and they talk and talk and try to talk their way out of it. They just talk too darn much. That’s what happens. In my previous life, as an attorney, I was a criminal defense attorney. I was a public defender for a couple of years. I’ve handled thousands of criminal matters. If I had a nickel for every time, I could have won the case but for my client talking to the police or someone else. If they had just shut their mouth, the government would not have been able to prove the case. Period. End of story.

We’re going to apply that principle here. In my perfect world what would happen is if a revenue officer showed up at your door, you’re going to say hello, Mr. Smith, I’m so glad you’re here. I’ve wanted to deal with this for years.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Where do we start?

DARRIN T. MISH: In my perfect world you’d say I have an attorney I just hired to help with this. His name is Darrin Mish. I’m sure you’re familiar with him.

KATRINA MADEWELL: I heard that guy on the radio.

DARRIN T. MISH: Give him a call, and he’ll make sure I do everything you ask.

PAT GEORGE: What I would say is I’m stupid. Here’s my attorney, here’s my card, talk to him. I am stupid.

DARRIN T. MISH: Which may not be all that hard to believe.

(laughter)

DARRIN T. MISH: When we come back we’ll talk about the difference between various IRS employees who may show up at your door. How they’re different and what to do differently if the various ones show up.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Should we tell them what to say and what not to say?

DARRIN T. MISH: Sure.

KATRINA MADEWELL: This is the IRS Solution Attorney show. I have no idea where we are on the show clock, but I know we’ll be back in a minute.

PAT GEORGE: And I am stupid.

(commercial break)

(She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy intro music)

KATRINA MADEWELL: I hope Heather is listening to the audio stream because that was for her.

DARRIN T. MISH: Today’s big announcement is…

KATRINA MADEWELL: She thinks my tractor’s sexy and it’s not me. It’d be his wife. I love you, Darrin, just like a brother.
DARRIN T. MISH: How can you not look at that tractor and think it’s sexy? I think the tractor’s sexy. Anyway. For those of you who may not know. I live on a farm. We’ve lived there about 11 months, and I’m tired of the manual labor I have to do without a machine to help me.

KATRINA MADEWELL: He loves to talk about chickens.

DARRIN T. MISH: The big announcement today within the studio, not on the show, has been that I have selected the tractor, I’ve made a deal with Alvie over at Grove Equipment Sales in Plant City, Florida. Alvie sat down with me for a couple of hours yesterday and answered all those questions I had, and there was a ton of them. Alvie made me a deal that I could not refuse. I think we’re going to take delivery of that tractor maybe next week, maybe the week after. But if we do, I’ll make sure to be putting some Facebook live videos up of me tooling around.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Your page is public so people can see?

DARRIN T. MISH: It is, and that’s because I’m pretty transparent and an open book. I have an admission to make. I’m not all that manly. I got a tractor with a cab and air conditioning.

KATRINA MADEWELL: You know my husband supervises crews at the city, and now it’s considered, I’ll probably get this wrong, but the union basically can make a deal out of it, because if it’s so hot if the air is broken in it.

DARRIN T. MISH: You can’t use the tractor if the air isn’t working because you’re like in a sauna. It’s like driving around in your car with the windows up.

KATRINA MADEWELL: You guys are the ones that said you have the grass fed workout, why not add the hot yoga to it?

DARRIN T. MISH: The hot sauna aspect. Today’s show is not about the tractor. It’s not about me; it’s all about what to do if an IRS employee shows up at your door. What do you do?

KATRINA MADEWELL: With a little bit of chicken talk in-between.

DARRIN T. MISH: Well, there will be sheep and cattle showing up pretty soon too, so there’ll be big announcements on the show time to time throughout the year.

KATRINA MADEWELL: We’re goofing off and being silly, but before the break, we were talking about what do you do if you get an IRS person show up at your door. I was asking Darrin, is there anything you should say or not say? What actions should you take if they show up at your door?

DARRIN T. MISH: when you’re dealing with law enforcement, and I hesitate to even call the IRS revenue officer at least, law enforcement, but when you’re dealing with law enforcement, you have to watch what you say.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Aren’t they kind of like law enforcement mixed with attorneys with a government aspect?

DARRIN T. MISH: I would say law enforcement mixed with bureaucrat and law enforcement. Let’s talk about the difference between a revenue officer and a revenue agent. A revenue officer is what you’re likely to have shown up at your door. A revenue officer is essentially a debt collector for the government, for the IRS. They carry a plastic badge, and they do not have guns. They do not have arrest powers. They can talk real mean to you. They’re not supposed to, but they often do.

KATRINA MADEWELL: I got so lucky. The lady that showed up, I think she took pity on me because I was young and pregnant.

DARRIN T. MISH: I don’t want to give the impression that all revenue officers are bad or hard to deal with. Because they’re not. It’s a continuum, just like any other aspect of society. I’ve dealt with very nice, professional, polite, kind police officers. Then I’ve dealt with police officers that wanted to give me a 30-minute lecture for going 7 miles over the speed limit. It’s all over the place.

It’s the same thing with revenue officers. There’s a lot of revenue officers in this area that I respect and kind of like working with them. When I get a case with them, we talk about what’s going on. Those are the guys I like to deal with.

There are people that work for the government as revenue officers who are just hard to deal with. They’re not solution-oriented, they’re pounding the fist, pay me yesterday people.

KATRINA MADEWELL: I wonder if that lady is around. I should try to see if I can find her name somewhere.

DARRIN T. MISH: How long ago was it?

KATRINA MADEWELL: Almost 20 years ago.

DARRIN T. MISH: She’s probably not. In private we can hash out names and what they look like. There was a different crop back then.

KATRINA MADEWELL: I remember she was nice. She abated a lot of the penalties and interest on her own.

DARRIN T. MISH: That’s unusual. You have to remember this, and this is the point of the show. The point of the show is to say; the IRS employee works for the government. The government is their client. If you don’t have representation, you are representing yourself. You are your client. Now, the revenue officer in that context knows a lot more about what’s going on than you do. My advice would keep your mouth shut.

At some point, they’re going to ask you to provide documentation, and you’ll have to provide it under penalties of perjury, that’s almost unavoidable. That’s going to happen. What I’m trying to say here, is it shouldn’t happen five minutes after you answer the door and you’re caught unawares. The reason is you’re going to have a tendency to try and talk your way out of it, you’re going to be scared, anxious, nervous, and you’re going to say things that are wrong.

You’re just going to. I would. If I’m walking around in the house in my underwear and they knock on the door, and I throw some shorts on, and I answer them, I got no shirt on, and I say come on in. If we start talking about a tax problem I have, I’m going to be freaked. And I even have lots of experience in this area. I’m going to reiterate what I said in case you missed it in the last segment, what I think you ought to do is mention to them that you either have a rep, attorney, CPA, enrolled agent, or that you now realize the seriousness of this matter and that you’re going to hire someone.You politely decline to discuss any specifics at this point in time. I don’t think you should deny that you are who you are. I think you can give them biographical stuff, like yeah I’m that person. But I think it should

You politely decline to discuss any specifics at this point in time. I don’t think you should deny that you are who you are. I think you can give them biographical stuff, like yeah I’m that person. But I think it should stop there. Until you can calm down, collect your thoughts, and give accurate answers. That’s one of the things I’m most worried about is the giving of inaccurate information or giving accurate information too soon or in a way that we can’t control.

KATRINA MADEWELL: I remember asking her a lot of questions. Asking her more questions than I gave her information. I remember asking her what happens if this doesn’t get paid. I think that’s what I asked her. Just a curious by nature kind of question. I believe her answer was, well, the way we look at it is if you don’t pay it, you and your partner we’ll levy both of your bank accounts and do whatever we have to to get that money.

DARRIN T. MISH: Your situation goes a little beyond the scope of what we’re talking about today. You had unpaid payroll taxes, and we’ve done whole shows on that topic. In a nutshell, what can happen is if there are multiple responsible people who don’t pay the payroll taxes for the business, what can happen and what will happen is the IRS will assess both people, and they’ll be jointly and separately liable. That’s what Katrina’s talking about in that situation.

Let’s talk about when a revenue officer might come out.

KATRINA MADEWELL: One of your Facebook watchers said the person that represents themselves is a fool.

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah. I’ve been an attorney for over 20 years, and when I have legal matters that pertain to me or my businesses, I will only handle the very most minor of things. Minor. Anything above minor I just get a lawyer because I understand that. Part of the reason is you just can’t be objective.

KATRINA MADEWELL: We’ve worked with a lot of attorneys too. I’ve had attorneys on both sides of the deal. Where the seller’s an attorney, and the buyer’s an attorney and no one’s a real estate attorney. And they want to bring in more attorneys. Sometimes those are fun. If you can get through that, you can get through anything.

DARRIN T. MISH: The other knock on attorneys in a business context is they’re not deal makers, they’re usually deal breakers. If you’re trying to bring someone in too close a business deal, or real estate deal, in your case, you want to make sure they’re more about facilitating the deal and less about crushing the deal.

KATRINA MADEWELL: You still have a buyer and seller that are both attorneys, and the seller wants to sell, and the buyer wants to buy at the end of the day.

DARRIN T. MISH: In that case, it’s a little bit better. Attorneys do have that reputation of being deal breakers. I want to talk more about how you can identify if a person’s a revenue officer. #1, they’re going to tell you they’re a revenue officer. They’re going to give you a business card with all of their contact info on it. They don’t carry a badge; they carry a plastic pocket commission. It’s like plastic…

KATRINA MADEWELL: Like an employee id card?

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah, like an employee id card that says who they are. I think it’s probably a good idea in this day and time that if they are knocking on your door and you don’t know who they are and they say they’re from the IRS to have them show you that through the peephole or window, so you’re not opening the door to some stranger that’s posing as an IRS revenue officer.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Or, if your door is open because you’re a business, they’re probably going to walk right in.

DARRIN T. MISH: That’s a good point. I get asked a lot of times, where can the IRS go in your business? Can they go in the storeroom in the back?

KATRINA MADEWELL: What happens if you let them in? Are they taking a personal inventory of your stuff?

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah, that’s why you don’t want them in your house. That’s why I don’t want you to invite them in and sit down on the sofa because they can’t help but look around your house. What they’re doing is doing a lifestyle audit on the fly. They’re going wow, that’s a big t.v.

KATRINA MADEWELL: They’re scoping you out.

PAT GEORGE: They’re looking for that office that you said you had.

DARRIN T. MISH: They’re looking for your home office that’s the guest bedroom.

KATRINA MADEWELL: That’s another whole story in itself. We did another show on that. You’re listening to the IRS Solution Attorney Show. If you want to get Darrin on his off air number or if you have a question about an IRS question, you can get him at 888-GET-MISH.

DARRIN T. MISH: That’s 888-438-6474.

KATRINA MADEWELL: If you want to visit the website, it’s getirshelp.com. We’ll be back in a minute.

(commercial break)

(Green Acres Theme song music playing)

DARRIN T. MISH: Welcome back to the IRS Solution Attorney show. This is the IRS Solution attorney, Darrin T. Mish.

KATRINA MADEWELL: I’m your co-host, Katrina Madewell. We have one of our live watchers…

DARRIN T. MISH: Just a minute, I need to comment on that bumper music. I can’t just let that go. There is one way that you can tell I’m a pretty humble guy because I let Pat George just play Green Acres as the bumper music, poking fun at me. On my radio show.

PAT GEORGE: If you ever watched that show and you remember the tractor and Eddie Albert, he’s up there in his suit, that’s Darrin Mish. He’s up on that tractor in the suit and tie, that’s you!

DARRIN T. MISH: In my new tractor I will be able to plow and use the tractor in a suit because it’s going to be air conditioned and heated.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Only you would think about that.

DARRIN T. MISH: We have a caller and old friend of mine. He’s live. Hey, Everett, how are you?

EVART: I’m doing well, how about yourself?

DARRIN T. MISH: Doing awesome. You were watching on Facebook live, and you indicated to us that you had a revenue officer story that showed up at your door and you wanted to tell us about it.

KATRINA MADEWELL: There’s a little bit of feedback, Everett.

DARRIN T. MISH: So what happened?

EVART: Many moons ago, 20 years ago or so, I was a tax protestor, they weren’t officially allowed to call me that, but I was a rabble rouser with the IRS.

KATRINA MADEWELL: How interesting, this is one of your friends.

EVART: Well, he reformed me.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Why am I not surprised by that?

EVART: They didn’t particularly care for me. One of the local revenue agents from the St. Pete’s office shows up at my house one day. I open up the door; I knew who he was right away because I’d done recorded meetings and stuff with him. As soon as I see him, just like you said, Darrin, I get a bolt of adrenaline. Like, uh oh.

DARRIN T. MISH: And you were accomplished at this, and it still freaked you out.

EVART: Oh, yeah, I was real good at it. I would make them run a merry chase. I had a lot of people in the uncollectible file. Stymied they would sit and scratch their heads for years with no idea how to collect from people. So the guy shows up, and he says, hey I want to talk to you about some stuff, can I come in? And I said, no. He said I want to talk to you about some stuff. I said I don’t have anything to say to you. He says, fine, whatever, can I talk to your wife? And I said no, she’s not available. He looks at me and says I saw her in the back yard when I was pulling in to the subdivision, I know she’s back there.

DARRIN T. MISH: Doesn’t make her available.

EVART: I know…(inaudible). I looked at him and said she’s not available. Get off my property before I call the police. So now I’m, honestly, I was kind of putting on a front because I didn’t know, you’re going to call the police on the IRS? The cops are going to say, well, whatever, guy. I hit him with that. He set his jaw; you could see he was angry. He got in his car and left.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Technically you could, right?

DARRIN T. MISH: I think you can trespass a revenue officer or an IRS employee.

EVART: Oh, yes, you certainly can. If they don’t have a warrant, you can trespass any government official.

DARRIN T. MISH: Right, once you’ve asked them to leave and they don’t leave, then it’s trespassing at that point.

EVART: Right. He shut the door, or he left and I shut the door and I went, (big sigh) and that was the last I ever heard of him.

KATRINA MADEWELL: What I find impressive is you were on a first name basis with the revenue officer that showed up at your door.

DARRIN T. MISH: Well, if you know Everett, that’s not that surprising.

EVART: Yeah, well, that was a different life.

DARRIN T. MISH: My advice would be slightly different.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Darrin would probably tell you not to call the police on a revenue officer.

DARRIN T. MISH: I guess that was ok given how the conversation went. That seemed logical I guess. I would say you should be a little bit softer than Everett was. But he had a relationship with this person already.

EVART: Yeah, there was no way this was going to be a nice interaction. That was based on previous interactions this was going to be contentious, no matter what.

DARRIN T. MISH: The reason I say that is because if we start off super contentious, let’s just say you don’t know anything about this. A revenue officer shows up at your door, and then you’re contentious, and you threaten to call the cops on them, it’s kind of hard not for that contentiousness to bleed over into the rest of the case. We don’t need to make the case any harder. It’s already hard.

EVART: I agree with you 100%.

KATRINA MADEWELL: That’s where someone like Darrin could come in and go, you know what, my client’s an idiot, I’m sorry can you work with me? And probably get some stuff done.

DARRIN T. MISH: I probably wouldn’t put it that way. The way I would explain it is you caught him unawares, and he was scared. That’s a normal human reaction is flight or fight, and he couldn’t run, so he decided to fight, verbally, at that point in time. But you and I have worked together for years, and we can get this worked out.

KATRINA MADEWELL: I have a question for you, Everett, you said in your prior life you were a tax protestor of some sort. What got you there? Why I guess is my question. I’m just curious because I know there are people that listen to this show that probably wants Darrin and are maybe in a similar situation. What got you to that place and what made you get out of it?

EVART: What got me there was…I probably since we’re on the radio give you the answer that the IRS would prefer to hear. I’m sure there are some people from the IRS listening to the show. What got me there, really, was I just started looking into the way the laws weren’t (inaudible). I can trace it back to one instance so I can give some clarity.

Before I became a tax protestor, I was in the police academy to become a police officer. At the St. Petersburg Allstate Center, which is the training facility for all the Pinellas County police. Some IRS agents, these weren’t resident agents these were revenue agents, so law enforcement in the IRS.

They were there training, and somebody said to us something along the lines about, the exact conversation, it’s been 25 years ago, but the exact conversation isn’t clear, but it was basically  how can you guys freeze people’s bank account and freeze the property without a judges order without a probable cause or anything.

One of the agents looked at him and said, well, you’re allowed to do it. He said, shouldn’t you have to get a judge’s order? We’re at the police academy, so we’re learning all about seizures and all this stuff. So if we have to go through all that, how can we do our job? That never sat right with me. It’s not the United States of America protected by the Constitution except when it comes to revenue agents.

That just never sat right with me. That was like a little seed. And years later it started sprouting, and it grew. What got me out of it is that I had a child. It became obvious that I was going to end up in prison or tax protesting in the area (inaudible). I figured that it was better to pay the taxes and comply and do the right thing, even if I didn’t agree with it. I figured it was better to do that and to be around to raise my daughter instead of being in Federal prison while she was growing up.

DARRIN T. MISH: There are lots of things that you and I would agree on regarding the unfairness the way the current law is written and enforced. I just go about fighting them differently than a tax protestor.

EVART: You do it the smart way.

DARRIN T. MISH: I use their rules that they agree are their rules and we just figure out a strategy using their rules that work out for the taxpayer’s best interest. So it’s a bit different tactic, same sort of beliefs in a lot of ways.

EVART: You did it the smart way, I did it the dumb way. You can make a living at it and help a lot of people. I got myself in eyeball deep in trouble. At the end of the day, it didn’t end up helping anybody.

KATRINA MADEWELL: So you never went to jail over this?

EVART: I had a federal court judge threaten to put me in jail.

DARRIN T. MISH: He got relatively close.

KATRINA MADEWELL: We talk about a lot of times how people’s biggest fear is the fact if they have unpaid taxes they’re going to go to jail. You’re listening to someone that was a tax protestor at one point.

EVART: Not is…was.

DARRIN T. MISH: He was a tax protestor at one point and then kind of figured out that although he may be right and you may still have those deeply held beliefs that you’re right, and I respect that, but the problem with having those beliefs is you have to sacrifice everything at the altar of those beliefs, then is it really worth it?

KATRINA MADEWELL: The way our society is set up, it’s set up to conform with society, and if you can’t do that it’s going to be hard to fit in.

DARRIN T. MISH: I’ve had success over the years with people who have seen the light, like Everett has, regarding resolving their cases with the IRS. I’ve also mistakenly represented people who still want to go and fight and still want to take it all the way to the Supreme Court using my time for free. Those people I can’t help because they’re not there yet. I like to help people who’ve gone down the tax protestor path and now see the light and want to get with me and file an offer in compromise.

I’m working on one right now. Great guy, former protestor that owes about $4 million. We’re in an offer right now, in negotiations. We got them down to about a half million dollars so far from $4 million which is pretty good. The problem is, I don’t think we can cash flow the 1/2 million. So, we have an appeal hearing next week, and we’re going to see where we get on that case. But in that case, I think I was successful in convincing the IRS that he was the victim of the tax protestor promoter.

Hey, Everett, that’s the signal for the break. I want to thank you for coming on and sharing your story with us.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Yes. I think at some point it would be exhausting? It gets exhausting to fight them all the time?

EVART: They have an unlimited budget, more people, bigger jails, it’s ridiculous. It’s not something that an individual or even group of people can realistically (inaudible).

KATRINA MADEWELL: Thanks so much for calling. We appreciate it. I think it added a lot of body to the show. Hopefully, the people listening enjoyed it too. This is the IRS Solution Attorney Show; we’ll be back in a minute. If you want to get in touch with Darrin at his off air number, 888-GET-MISH.

DARRIN T. MISH: That’s 888-438-6474. 888-GET-MISH. Visit the website at getirshelp.com. Or the podcast or app at IRS Solution Attorney.

KATRINA MADEWELL: We’ll be back in just a minute.

(commercial break)

(I Got Friends with Tractors music playing)

DARRIN T. MISH: Welcome back to the IRS Solution Show. I am the IRS Solution Attorney, Darrin T. Mish. I would just sit there and listen to the rest of that song if it were up to me.

PAT GEORGE: I think your tractor’s in this video too. It’s all glassed-in and air conditioned.

KATRINA MADEWELL: I’m Katrina Madewell, and the first that I had is your California friends would be so proud.

DARRIN T. MISH: Probably not. That was a different life, a different time. I have to say, the hook of that song was I have friends with tractors. People who have tractors are pretty capable people. At least regarding getting work done.

KATRINA MADEWELL: My husband moved a big palm tree by himself with one of those.

DARRIN T. MISH: He’s pretty manly.

KATRINA MADEWELL: I don’t know how he did it. I left and came home, and the palm tree was moved.

DARRIN T. MISH: Right on, Chris. Today’s topic of the show, and we just have a few more minutes before the IRS Train Wreck of the Week. We talk about what do you if an IRS employee shows up at your door. I wanted to make this point. So far we’ve been talking about IRS Revenue officers. Revenue officers are debt collectors. They’re there to get the money. There’s a different category of IRS person that’s completely different and much more serious. These are IRS Revenue, IRS CID Agents. Criminal Investigative agents and they’re scary.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Those are the ones to be scared of.

DARRIN T. MISH: Those are cops. They’re law enforcement officers. They carry gold badges, they travel in pairs typically, and they carry guns. So somebody that’s from the IRS shows up at your door and there’s a gun on his belt, what I want you to do is say nothing. You’re already in serious trouble, and you can not talk your way out of it. You’re probably already in enough trouble that you’re going to prison so let’s not add to the problem.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Like right then?

DARRIN T. MISH: Well, you’re probably going into custody. Not always. They might just be there to question you. They might be there to question you about somebody else. My advice remains the same. Don’t say anything. Say, ok, I’m not the target of this investigation I understand, but I still don’t feel comfortable speaking to you without counsel. They will immediately say, well I certainly understand your point. What we’ll do is you let us know in the next week or so who your attorney is, and we will get this done through your attorney. That’s the way to do it, folks. When I was a criminal defense attorney, I had many cases, probably most cases, where but for my client’s admissions, there would not have been any punishment at all because it’s relatively hard in a lot of cases to prove cases for the government if they don’t have admissions against interest by the defendant.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Simple thing. Just shut up.

DARRIN T. MISH: It goes the same with anytime the police come to your door. If they come to your door and they’re starting to ask you questions about anything more serious than maybe a noise complaint or your dog’s going to the bathroom where it’s not supposed to, if it’s more serious than that, then I don’t think you should be talking to them. I have a great deal of respect for law enforcement, I have lots of friends who are cops, and they would tell you the same. That’s what they teach their kids.

KATRINA MADEWELL: If those special agents are coming, typically is it because you have embezzlement or something like that going on?

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah, you’ve got some tax evasion, tax fraud, kind of issues going on. They have caught wind of you, and you are going to spend some time at a federal country club, probably. But the whole point is, don’t make the government’s job easier. At that point, you can’t talk your way out of it. They’ve spent months if not years, investigating your situation, they have documents, they have everything they need.

PAT GEORGE: You should always ask who it is because it could be the Publisher’s Clearinghouse.

DARRIN T. MISH: It could be. With the big cardboard check.

(train wreck noise)

KATRINA MADEWELL: Wow, that train came hard and fast today.

PAT GEORGE: Right through the front door.

DARRIN T. MISH: It’s time for the IRS Train Wreck of the Week. This is the segment of the show, my favorite segment, where we talk about somebody who came into the office and their situation was pretty much a train wreck, and after we had worked on it, often for years, they came out smelling like a rose.

This case is cool. I like this guy. He was hard to get rolling in the right direction. It took about three years start to finish. I think two of those years was me trying to kick him in the behind to get him going. But great guy. He was a non-filer for some years. I can’t remember, I think he was a truck driver. We ultimately ended up getting him to file the returns, or we prepared the returns for him. He owed $129,727. About $130 grand, give or take.

We filed an offer in compromise for him and ultimately it settled for $36,021. This is a little bit different; I never talk about this. In this case, he was able to make those payments out over 24 months. So he’s paying $1201/month. He can do it, just barely, but he can do it. He’s living on a mountaintop in North Carolina. He’s of retirement age now. This is just thrilling to him. He thought it would follow him all the way to the grave and it’s not.

KATRINA MADEWELL: I have a question. Probably the answer is no, but just curious. You know how they’ve been doing the cancellation of debts on the mortgages? When the IRS cancels out this amount of debt, can they try to re-tax you on that as income?

DARRIN T. MISH: That’s a good question. If you take that cancellation of debt, silly theory. You have to pay taxes on debt you don’t have to pay any more. If you were to take that to its logical conclusion, the answer would be yes. But since we do at least have some sanity in our government, the answer is no.

KATRINA MADEWELL: So they could, but they’re not doing that. Is there anything in your paperwork that makes sure they don’t?

DARRIN T. MISH: No, but it’s just not in keeping with the statute. No, you don’t have to pay taxes on that canceled IRS debt. I think the best thing about my job is calling gentlemen like this. He was on the mountaintop on North Carolina, and he gets really bad cell reception, and I got to tell him. When I got on the phone, he says, we did it. And I say, yes we did.

KATRINA MADEWELL: So he knew before you called him?

DARRIN T. MISH: He gets the letter at the same time.

KATRINA MADEWELL: They burst your bubble.

DARRIN T. MISH: But he knew. It was fun. We reminisced about the challenges we had in the case and some of the weaknesses we had in the case that the IRS never figured out. We had a good old time celebrating. He’s going to be in Florida soon, and he’s going to come by the office, and we’re going to hang out and talk about how awesome it is.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Invite him on the show.

DARRIN T. MISH: That’s a good point. He said he wouldn’t do it this week, but he’ll potentially do it next week. So we might have him on next week.

KATRINA MADEWELL: We’ll call him Joe.

DARRIN T. MISH: He has a common name anyway. We can probably use his first name.

KATRINA MADEWELL: This was a fun, off the fly show with one of our callers.

DARRIN T. MISH: I had a good time. I like talking about the real true IRS problems a lot more than I like talking about how this is how you can save money on your taxes. That’s important and probably a broader appeal, but not as much of my expertise is I’m a tax problem disaster recovery specialist.

KATRINA MADEWELL: That was a mouthful. If you want Darrin, you can call him at 888-GET-MISH.

DARRIN T. MISH: That’s 888-438-6474. The website getirshelp.com. Or the podcast or app at the IRS Solution Attorney at all the normal places.

KATRINA MADEWELL: You can pop up on Facebook as well on messenger, and he’ll get back to you.

DARRIN T. MISH: Don’t forget the Youtube channel, 200 videos.

KATRINA MADEWELL: This week…

DARRIN T. MISH: We’re out.

 

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