The Internal Revenue Service IRS declared the cessation of its longstanding tradition of conducting unannounced visits by revenue officers to taxpayers’ premises. This move aims to alleviate taxpayers’ confusion and to amplify security measures. This modification in a procedure that’s been in place for a long time will boost faith in our tax administration efforts and also enhance safety for both taxpayers and IRS employees.
Historically, IRS revenue officers have carried out visits to residential and business locations to aid taxpayers in settling their account balances and in collecting unpaid taxes. The IRS noted that, barring a few unique scenarios, these unscheduled visits would cease forthwith. Instead, taxpayers will be informed through a mailed letter to arrange appointments.
Transformation in IRS Practices: Enhancing Taxpayer Service and Security
The IRS added that there will be some infrequent unannounced visits that involve summonses, subpoenas, and sensitive enforcement activities, such as asset seizures. These specific instances typically occur less than several hundred times annually. “We’re scrutinizing and revising the operational practices of the IRS with the objective of providing superior service to taxpayers and the nation. This adjustment in protocol is a practical stride in that direction,” stated IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel.
Werfel also acknowledged the recent surge in security concerns related to fraudsters impersonating IRS agents, leading to confusion among taxpayers and law enforcement authorities. “These visits tend to exacerbate the anxiety of taxpayers already on edge due to potential fraudsters. Simultaneously, the uncertainty of what IRS employees may encounter when visiting these homes added to their stress,” he stated.
Werfel further noted, “We possess the necessary tools to effectively collect revenue without escalating stress levels through unexpected visits. The only ones adversely affected by this policy shift are those attempting to defraud people by pretending to be the IRS.”
This change is part of a broader series of efforts aimed at transforming IRS operations, following the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act last year. This legislation granted the IRS $80 billion in funding and implemented significant modifications to the national tax code.
The IRS also reported in a recent fact sheet that it currently employs approximately 2,300 revenue officers across the United States.
Earlier in April, the agency announced its intention to utilize part of this multi-billion-dollar funding to replenish its workforce, with plans to hire over 7,000 service representatives and 15,000 auditors this year, and thousands more in the following years. When the Treasury Department requested the $80 billion in 2021, it projected a total of around 87,000 new hires.