The IRS will stop making most unannounced visits to taxpayers’ homes and businesses

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will largely reduce the unannounced visits it makes to homes and businesses due to safety concerns for officers and the risk of scammers posing as agency employees.

Leading Policy Change: Effective immediately, IRS officers will only make these visits in very specific situations such as seizing assets or executing summonses and subpoenas.
* Of the tens of thousands of unannounced visits conducted annually, only a few hundred fall under these exceptional circumstances, according to the IRS.

The Underlying Reasons: The IRS stated that the past practice caused additional stress for both taxpayers and IRS employees.
* IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel noted, “These visits created extra anxiety for taxpayers already wary of potential scam artists,” and admitted that this had caused stress for IRS employees too.

The New Approach: Going forward, certain taxpayers will receive letters by mail, giving them the chance to schedule a face-to-face meeting with an IRS officer.
* Prior to a visit, the IRS typically sends several letters and IRS officers carry two forms of official identification, including their IRS-issued credentials and a HSPD-12 card, a common ID for all federal government employees.

Commissioner’s Perspective: Werfel stated that the move forms part of a broader effort to refine IRS operations for improved taxpayer service.
* He emphasized, “We are taking a fresh look at how the IRS operates to better serve taxpayers and the nation, and making this change is a common-sense step.”

View original article on NPR

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