The IRS has made an important announcement regarding the practice of unannounced visits by its revenue officers. This policy change comes in response to the increasing prevalence of tax scams and the resulting confusion among taxpayers when verifying the identity of IRS employees. This change prioritizes the safety of both taxpayers and IRS employees.
Here is a summarized version of the key points:
1. End of Unannounced Visits: The IRS is discontinuing unannounced visits by revenue officers. Taxpayers will no longer be caught off guard.
2. New Approach: Instead of unannounced visits, taxpayers will generally receive an appointment letter (Letter 725-B) before any face-to-face meeting. Appointments can be held at the IRS office, the taxpayer’s home or business, or by telephone.
3. Appointment Importance: It is crucial to keep scheduled appointments or reschedule them with the revenue officer. Failure to do so may result in the IRS levying your bank account or wages.
4. Verification: To ensure that it’s actually the IRS contacting you, refer to the IRS fact sheet or schedule appointments in person at the IRS office or via secure messaging through your online account.
5. Collection Process: The IRS collection process remains the same, involving notices and potential appeals. Taxpayers are informed about their rights, including representation and the right to appeal IRS decisions.
6. Responsibility: The end of unannounced visits does not relieve taxpayers of their responsibility to address outstanding tax debt or unfiled returns.
7. Avoid Scams: The IRS will never ask for payments via card, wire transfer, or threaten arrest. Stay informed about current tax scams.
8. Take Initiative: Taxpayers don’t need to wait for IRS notices or revenue officer contact. Acting promptly can help prevent additional interest and penalties.
9. Additional Resources: Low-income taxpayers can seek free representation through Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) for assistance with tax matters.
For more detailed information, you can refer to the official IRS sources, including the [IRS website](https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/knowing-how-scammers-pose-as-the-irs-can-help-taxpayers-protect-themselves) and [IRS newsroom](https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/taxpayers-see-wave-of-summer-email-text-scams-irs-urges-extra-caution-with-flood-of-schemes-involving-economic-impact-payments-employee-retention-credits-tax-refunds) for updates on tax scams and taxpayer protection.