IRS Information Gathering: IDRS & Summonses

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The IRS has statutory authority to both examine books, records, and other data and to “take testimony” in order to determine a taxpayer’s federal tax liability. The IRS generally requests and gathers this information by issuing Information Document Requests. The IRS can also issue a summons to any person having information that “may be relevant” to its investigation. The IRS Large Business and International Division (LB&I) has recently issued new IDR and enforcement directives to its examination employees. These directives aim to reduce audit cycle times and provide a more transparent information gathering process but they also greatly reduce LB&I exam personnel’s discretion in enforcing IDRs.

This practical webinar from Bloomberg BNA presented by Troy Olsen, provides taxpayers and practitioners with an overview of the IRS IDR and summons process, explains the new LB&I IDR directives, and presents practical strategies for responding to IDRs and dealing with IRS summonses.

During this presentation, Troy will cover:
• What is an IRS Information Document Request? 
• IRS Authority to Obtain Documents 
• The IDR Process 
• New IDR Process for the IRS Large Business and International Division 
• IDR Response Strategies (including objecting to IDRs and asserting Privilege Claims) 
• What is an IRS Summons? 
• Summons Authority 
• The Summons Process 
• Summons Response Strategies (including asserting Privilege Claims and challenging a summons in court) 

Educational Objectives:
• Determine the purpose and procedure of IDRs and Summonses as tools for information gathering by the IRS;
• Navigate the current IDR Management Process as well as the new process for Large Business and International cases;
• Identify what the IRS can and cannot do with regard to the enforcement of IDRS and Summonses;
• Recognize the Constitutional requirements that the IRS must follow in order to issue a legitimate Summons; and 
• Recall the availability of attorney-client and attorney work product privileges.



Troy L. Olsen, J.D., practices law in the Washington, D.C. office of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan.  He has several years of experience resolving federal tax controversy matters before the IRS and in federal court.  He represents clients before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in audit, appeals, collection and other administrative matters and in tax litigation. He has represented clients in the U.S. Tax Court, U.S. District and Appellate Courts, and U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Before joining Sutherland, he worked for the IRS in Washington, D.C., as an attorney-advisor for the Taxpayer Advocate Service where he advised the National Taxpayer Advocate on legal and procedural issues, with particular emphasis on issues relating to business taxpayers, tax-exempt organizations and the IRS Office of Appeals.