The focus of our practice is civil and criminal taxpayer representation, and whether in Stamford, Connecticut or elsewhere, one of the most power tools the IRS has at its disposal to gather taxpayer information is its power to issue an administrative Summons.
The IRS generally uses its administrative summons power to gather information – both written records and testimony – when it is seeking tax returns or conducting a tax investigation.
When we represent taxpayers before the IRS or the Department of Justice Tax Division, we often get asked the question from our clients: “What if I don’t show up?”
If the taxpayer fails to show up for the summons, the next step by the IRS examiner or revenue officer will be to forward the request to IRS Counsel, who will then issue a new notice with a new date and time for the taxpayer to appear.
And if the taxpayer still does not comply with the IRS Summons?
Failure by the taxpayer to comply with the second request will lead to the IRS sending the case to the Assistant United States Attorney’s in the district where the taxpayer resides, where they will seek a court order for the taxpayer to comply with the administrative Summons and appear/provide the records requested.
If the taxpayer fails to comply wit the court order, he or she may be held in contempt of court and face either fines, incarceration or both. A recent case in Hawaii lead to the taxpayer being ordered to jail and fined $1,000 per day for each day they had failed to comply since the date of the original IRS Summons. See United States v. Bright.
Eric L. Green, Esq.
Convicer, Percy & Green, LLP
Glastonbury, CT w New Haven, CT w Stamford, CT