Guiding You Through The Legal Process
View Our Practice Areas

IRS has substantial power to collect data with a summons

When the Internal Revenue Service issues a summons to a taxpayer in Georgia or third-party performing services for taxpayers, the document represents a serious request for information. Failure to comply with a summons for information could prompt the federal government to file a lawsuit against the person or organization. Although a party might have a good reason to resist disclosing information, the chances of gaining a favorable ruling in court against the IRS are low.

A summons could demand information such as the books for a business, other financial records or data about account holders at a financial institution. A party that chooses to ignore or refuse a summons could end up facing a court order obtained by the U.S. Department of Justice that will force compliance. The option to fight the summons in court remains, but a court will want legitimate reasons for withholding information from the tax agency. While the legal standards are high, attorney-client privilege or work product protection might satisfy a court.

In addition to a regular summons that applies to a single taxpayer, the IRS also has the power to issue a blanket summons known as a Joe Doe summons. This document applies to multiple taxpayers within a certain group, and the IRS has used this power to investigate people suspected of sheltering assets in offshore accounts.

A person confronted by an IRS summons or the less intimidating information document request could ask an attorney for advice. Legal counsel could evaluate the potential of fighting a summons or represent the client after the taxpayer supplies the requested information. An attorney could strive to document the person's compliance with tax laws. Negotiations have the potential to broker a settlement that allows someone to pay taxes and avoid negative consequences like a wage levy or tax lien.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
EMAIL US FOR A RESPONSE

Contact Us Today

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Office

100 Galleria Parkway SE
Suite #480
Atlanta, Georgia 30339

Toll Free: 800-765-2779
Phone: 404-841-6561
Map & Directions

600 University Park Place
Suite 100
Birmingham, AL 35209

Phone: 205-401-1229
Map & Directions