November 20, 2019
As part of a larger effort to ensure fairness in the tax system, the IRS is taking steps to conduct special compliance efforts for individual and business taxpayers in various communities.
The goal of these visits is to help resolve tax compliance issues by meeting face-to-face with taxpayers with ongoing tax issues. The IRS will focus these efforts in areas where there have been a limited number of revenue officers available due to declining IRS resources.
Revenue officers are trained IRS civil enforcement employees who work to resolve compliance issues, such as missing returns or taxes owed. During these visits, the revenue officers interview them to gather financial information and provide them with the necessary steps to become and remain compliant with the law. When necessary, they will take the appropriate actions to collect the amount owed, following the law and respecting taxpayer rights.
The IRS routinely conducts these face-to-face visits. The primary factors of these visits are to make contact with taxpayers who have a previously known tax issue that wasn’t resolved through mail contact. The first face-to-face contact from a revenue officer is almost always unannounced.
The new effort involves focusing resources in a specific area during a specific time. Announcing general details about the efforts in specific areas are an important step to raise community awareness about IRS activity at a specified time to avoid confusion during a period where IRS scam artists and imposters remain active.
Visits shouldn’t be confused as a scam; what to look for
When an IRS revenue officer visits a taxpayer, they will always provide two forms of official credentials, both include a serial number and photo of the IRS employee. Taxpayers have the right to see each of these credentials.
A legitimate revenue officer is there to help taxpayers understand and meet their tax obligations, not to make threats or demand some unusual form of payment for a nonexistent liability. The officer will explain the liability to the taxpayer.
The IRS emphasizes these visits typically occur after numerous contacts by mail about an existing tax issue; taxpayers should be aware they have a tax issue when these visits occur.
If someone has an outstanding federal tax debt, the visiting officer will request payment but will provide a range of payment options, including paying by check that is payable to the U.S. Treasury.