This week, the IRS announced that it will end its policy of unannounced Revenue Officer visits on routine matters. This change, which is intended to reduce public confusion and enhance overall safety measures for taxpayers and employees, reverses a decades-long practice. Previously, IRS Revenue Officers could visit taxpayers’ homes and offices to collect unpaid taxes and unfiled tax returns.

IRS Commissioner, Danny Werfel, announced the policy change as part of the IRS’s overall effort to transform operations in accordance with last year’s Inflation Reduction Act. According to Werfel, “these visits created extra anxiety for taxpayers already wary of potential scam artists. At the same time, the uncertainty around what IRS employees faced when visiting these homes created stress for them as well.”

Although this change should reduce the stress that taxpayers feel as a result of these unannounced visits, taxpayers with outstanding federal liabilities should remain proactive about resolving their issues. The IRS offers a variety of payment and procedural options, including, installment agreements (payment plans), offers in compromise, Collection Appeals Program, and Collection Due Process hearings. Ignoring a liability and/or a threat of collection activity will only lead to bigger problems down the road as interest and penalties continue to accrue.

Going forward, instead of unannounced visits, taxpayers can expect Revenue Officers to make contact through appointment letters and schedule follow up meetings. This will allow taxpayers to have more time to get ready for such meetings and will provide them with the opportunity to prepare and compile information and documentation in advance of meeting with a Revenue Officer.

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IRS ends unannounced revenue officer visits to taxpayers; major change to end confusion, enhance safety as part of larger agency transformation efforts | Internal Revenue Service

Thank you Colleen Spain for this week’s Tax Tracker!