IRS Announces Change in Policy
In a major change in policy, the IRS will end most unannounced visits to taxpayers by agency revenue officers.
The change reverses a decades-long practice by IRS revenue officers who make unannounced visits to taxpayers to collect unpaid taxes and unfiled tax returns. Effective immediately, the visits will end except in a few unique circumstances and will be replaced with mailed letters to schedule meetings. The change in policy is intended to increase confidence in tax administration and improve overall safety for taxpayers and IRS employees.
In place of the unannounced visits, revenue officers will instead make contact with taxpayers through an appointment letter, known as a 725-B, and schedule a follow-up meeting. Taxpayers whose cases are assigned to a revenue officer will now be able to schedule face-to-face meetings at a set place and time, with the necessary information and documents in hand to reach resolution of their cases more quickly and eliminate the burden of multiple future meetings.
The IRS noted there will still be extremely limited situations where unannounced visits will occur. These rare instances include service of summonses and subpoenas; and also sensitive enforcement activities involving seizure of assets, especially those at risk of being placed beyond the reach of the government. To put this in perspective, these types of situations typically number less than a few hundred each year – a small fraction compared to the tens of thousands of unannounced visits that typically occurred annually under the old policy.