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Why would the IRS issue a summons to appear before them after completing a Form 433A form?

Madawaska, ME |

The IRS required form 433A to be filed with them to avoid a seizure of my husbands business assets. The form was filed about a month ago. I came home tonight to find a summons in the door requiring him to appear before them with "all documents and records you possess or control regarding assets, liabilities, or accounts held in the taxpayer's name or for the taxpayers benefit which taxpayer wholly or partially owns, or in which the taxpayer has a security interest. These records include but are not limited to: all bank statements, checkbooks, canceled checks, savings account passbooks, records or certificates of deposit for the period 1/1/12 to 10/31/12.

My husband has a back tax liability, but we are currently having a hard time making ends meet. What is the IRS looking for?

Attorney Answers 5


A summons is a document that accompanies a complaint when someone is being sued. A subpoena is a document that requires production of documents, and sometimes a personal appearance to answer questions as well, and this can only be issued when there's pending litigation.

This document lists exactly what they're looking fo, and obviously they think that something that was done or not done in the last 10 months didn't pass the smell test. Your husband and/or his business should hire to hire a CPA or tax lawyer to represent him/it.

Avvo doesn't pay us for these responses, and I'm not your lawyer just because I answer this question or respond to any follow-up comments. If you want to hire me, please contact me. Otherwise, please don't expect a further response. We need an actual written agreement to form an attorney-client relationship. I'm only licensed in CA and you shouldn't rely on this answer, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it's impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue.

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The form clearly states "summons", not "subpoena". The bottom of the form states that the IRS will use the information provided to prepare a Collection Information Statement, and they attached another blank 433A Form. I'm completely confused. The form was filled out completely and accurately when sent in a month ago.


The IRS is trying to collect on the outstanding accounts showing unpaid balances. The 433 information provides them with some detailas but they're clearly looking for more information. As an institution, the IRS can be very insensitive to your personal financial plight. However, when working with the individuals at the IRS, I've found them to all be professional and helpful. I would strongly recommend you retain a tax attorney to handle this matter for you. It will improve your chances of getting some relief and will also improve your chances of getting through this without a large and lingering tax bill.

good luck.

Evan A. Nielsen
1255 W. Colton Ave., #506 | Redlands, CA 92374
Main: 909.363.4658 | Fax: 480.304.3211

Mention this Post for a free consultation.

Evan A. Nielsen is licensed to practice law in California. The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice for a particular matter. This response does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult an attorney.

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You should retain a tax attorney ASAP.

If this answer was helpful, please mark it as helpful or as a best answer. This answer is for general education purposes only. It neither creates an attorney-client relationship nor provides legal guidance or advice. The answer is based on the limited information provided and the answer might be different had additional information been provided. You should consult an attorney.

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The IRS' has Subpoena power or the ability to make you appear before them as well as provide certain documentation. Form 433A will provide the IRS necessary information of your monthly income, expenses, assets & liabilities. The second part of your question deals with the substantiation documents related to your 433A. The IRS will request that the taxpayer (i.e. individual or business) provide certain financial documentation to support what was reported in the filed 433A. The important thing is for you & your husband to provide, as close as possible, the information requested by the IRS. For example, If the IRS requests gas receipts and you do not have those receipts then look for bank or credit card statements showing that the purchase was made. The best advice I can give you is to spend the time to find the documents requested by the IRS. Also try to organize the information to the best of your ability. If possible find a tax professional to assist you in this matter.

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Sounds to me like they are sizing you up for the Trust Fund Penalty. This is where your business has unpaid employment taxes, and they are trying to decide whether to come after the owners. You need a local tax attorney.

I could be wrong. But it has that feel. If that is the case, they will want to interview you and you need an attorney.

Christopher Larson
Insight Law
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