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3 Types of Summons You May Receive From the IRS


No taxpayer wants to receive a summons from the IRS. Many people assume that an IRS summons is only issued for criminal investigations. However, this is not always the case. In fact, there are three main summons issued by the IRS to taxpayers. If you have received a summons in the mail from the IRS, determining which kind of summons it is will help you know how to respond appropriately.


Dealing with the IRS on your own can be a complicated process. If you are struggling to resolve a tax issue, you should consider working with a tax resolution lawyer. Here is some helpful information on the three types of summons you may receive from the IRS.

Why Does the IRS Issue Summons?

The IRS has the legal right to ask for documentation or information that could assist them in determining the accuracy of a filed return. In most cases, taxpayers provide this information to the IRS if they are audited.


However, when a taxpayer refuses to provide information to the IRS, the IRS can “summon” the information from the taxpayer or any relative third parties. For example, the IRS may summon the testimony of a taxpayer or a third-party—such as the taxpayer’s accountant or employees before a court.

The Three Types of Summons Issued by the IRS

You may receive a summons from the IRS for any of the following reasons:


● To provide testimony before the IRS

● To come before the IRS and provide testimony as a third party

● To provide records of your income, bank account, and other financial data.


The way in which the summons is delivered provides helpful insight into the kind of summons it is. If you receive a summons by mail, it almost always means you are being summoned as a third party. If the summons is left at the taxpayer’s home or business, it’s likely that it is a summons requiring the taxpayer themselves to provide testimony to the IRS.

Appealing an IRS Summons

If you want to appeal an IRS summons, you can work with an attorney to “quash” your summons. An attorney may file a motion to quash your summons if they believe your summons was issued incorrectly. When the IRS summons a third-party testimony, a copy is provided to both the taxpayer being investigated and the third-party. The taxpayer then has 20 days to quash the summons through a court petition. In order for this to be successful, the taxpayer must show that they had previously submitted all requested information to the IRS and cooperated with all their requests.

Consult a Skilled Tax Resolution Attorney

If you have received a summons from the IRS, it is best to consult with an experienced tax resolution attorney. At Morgan Sebastian Law, we’re eager to confront all the complexities of your tax issues. When you work with Attorney Becky Sebastian, you will experience compassionate attention that provides a sense of relief and peace of mind regarding your financial state.


To schedule a consultation with an experienced tax resolution lawyer, call (877) 223-6605 or fill out our online contact form.

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