If you have IRS tax debt, you probably receive more IRS mail than you care to admit. Some of our clients receive so many IRS notices and letters that it becomes difficult to keep up with them. Obviously, it is very important to open and read every single correspondence you receive from the IRS. But one type of notice ranks right up at the top in terms of priority: the IRS Summons (Form 2039).
The IRS uses the summons to secure documents and records from taxpayers, normally only after informal attempts have been made without success. The IRS is typically trying to ascertain the accuracy of a tax return, to determine the liability of a taxpayer, or to collect back taxes.
One way or another, you must respond to your summons. One of the reasons the summons is so important is if you fail to comply, the IRS employee who issued the summons may seek to enforce it in court. If so, a judge could hold you in contempt of court, which means you could be fined and/or thrown in prison.
If you receive a summons, you should seriously consider hiring legal counsel to help you to respond and to protect your interests.