Summons - used to secure information
If the IRS is having trouble gathering information to determine or collect taxes you owe, the IRS may serve a summons. A summons legally compels you or a third party to meet with an officer of the IRS and provide information, documents and/or testimony.
If you are responsible for a tax liability and the IRS serves a summons on you, you may be required to
Bring books and records to prepare a tax return, and/or
Produce documents to prepare a Collection Information Statement Form 433A or 433B.
If you can’t make your summons appointment, immediately call the number listed on your notice. If you don’t call the IRS and don’t attend the appointment, you may be sued in federal district court to require you to comply with the summons.
If the IRS serves a third-party summons to determine your tax liability, you will receive a notice indicating that the IRS is contacting a third party. Third parties can be financial institutions, record keepers, or people with information relevant to your case. The IRS wont review their information or receive testimony until the end of the 23rd day after the notice was given.
You also have the right to
Petition to reject (quash) the summons before the end of the 20th day after the date of the notice, or
Petition to intervene in a suit to enforce a summons to which the third party didn’t comply.
If the IRS issues a third-party summons to collect taxes you already owe, you won’t receive notice or be able to petition to reject or intervene in a suit to enforce the summons.