What is a “Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer?”

taxpayerEven when aggravated, treat others with respect—especially if it is the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Those who do not may end up with a special designation with the IRS—a Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer (PDT).


Few people like to pay taxes, and we all know someone who takes special, personal umbrage against the requirement to turn over part of your income to fund the governance and services of the country within which we live. While some grumble, a good portion of the population is compliant. Others find themselves filing fraudulent tax returns, or developing schemes or scams that may someday be fodder for an IRS criminal tax investigation.


Still others go further, engaging in talk or behavior that leads the IRS to take interest in them for a different reason—for purposes of identifying them as dangerous to IRS personnel.


There are two designations for people flagged as a concern by the IRS. These designations are “Caution Upon Contact (CAU)” and Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer. To be tagged as CAU or PDT requires an internal process and verification by the IRS—these are not flimsy office descriptors, but instead seek to inform the agency whether care is needed by agents, staff, or authorities when approaching an individual.


Here are some basic points:

Caution Upon Contact: Individuals who have threatened themselves or others within the prior ten years could be designated as CAU, as could any individual considered for PDT flag but whose behavior falls just short of classification. Importantly, CAU can be attached to those who file or threaten to file frivolous law suits (civil or criminal) against an IRS employee, or those associated with them via family or work, in the prior ten years.


Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer: There are more criteria for a PDT designation, all of which involve activity within the prior 10 years. Activities which lead to classification include:

  • Physical assault on an IRS employee or those associated with them via family or work
  • Intimidation or threat of an IRS employee or those associated with them via family or work, including physical threat, show of weapons, or behaviors such as stalking and the like
  • Membership in a group that advocates violence or threat to the IRS, or individuals who do the same
  • Commission of any of these types of acts against contractors or employees of other government agencies
  • Demonstration of a propensity for violence


Bottom line—you do not want to be tagged as either CAU or PDT. Civil disagreement with the IRS is common. When you have questions, concerns, or a beef with the IRS over a tax controversy, seek an experienced tax attorney to obtain the best results for your situation. Threatening arguments or actions are not tolerated, and do not help with a tax or any other kind of issue.


Skilled legal representation if you face allegations of tax fraud

With offices in Cleveland and Chicago, the tax attorneys at Robert J. Fedor, Esq., deliver experienced representation when you are challenged with an employment tax dispute, IRS tax audit, or other tax issue. Call us at 800-579-0997 or contact us online when you need a tax lawyer you can count on.


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