Here Comes the IRS

Sandy Botkin
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The IRS has announced, in a Fact Sheet, that it will begin visiting taxpayers who have ongoing tax compliance issues. The IRS will focus its efforts in areas where there have been a limited number of revenue officers available due to declining IRS resources.

According to the Fact Sheet, the IRS’s primary goal for these visits is to make face-to-face contact with taxpayers who have a previously known tax issue that was not resolved through mail contact. The IRS emphasizes in the Fact Sheet that these visits will typically occur after numerous contacts by mail with the taxpayer about an existing tax issue. 

Taxpayers should be aware they have a tax issue before they receive a visit from a revenue officer (revenue officers are trained IRS civil enforcement employees who work to resolve compliance issues, such as missing returns or unpaid taxes). However, the first face-to-face contact from a revenue officer will almost always be unannounced. 

When a revenue officer visits a taxpayer, the revenue officer should provide two forms of official identification, or credentials, that include a serial number and photo of the revenue officer. Taxpayers have the right to see both of these credentials. The IRS provides additional information on identifying legitimate IRS representatives and how to report scams at How to know it’s really the IRS knocking at your door. 

During the visit, the revenue officer will interview the taxpayer to gather financial information and tell the taxpayer what he or she needs to do to become and remain compliant with the tax laws. 

If a taxpayer has an outstanding federal tax debt, the revenue officer will take the appropriate actions to collect any taxes owed during the visit. The revenue officer will request payment, but will provide a range of payment options, including payment by check made out to the U.S. Treasury. A legitimate revenue officer will not make threats or demand some unusual form of payment (such as payment by iTunes card) for a tax liability. 

Bottom Line: If you haven’t filed tax returns for a while, you might get an unwanted guest paying you a visit.

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