In a major shift, the IRS says it will end most unannounced visits to taxpayers

IRS Visits

That unexpected knock on your door? It’s probably not an IRS employee. The nation’s tax agency has announced a major policy change: It will end most unannounced visits by the agency’s revenue officers to taxpayers.

The change is being made, the IRS said, to “reduce public confusion and enhance overall security measures for taxpayers and employees.”

It’s a major turnaround for the 2,300 IRS revenue officers whose duties include visiting taxpayers to resolve their account balances by collecting unpaid taxes and delinquent tax returns. Despite recent misinformation, these visits were made by IRS revenue officers who were unarmed.

or IRS Revenue Agent Is a tax return auditor – They usually have a degree in accounting or a related field and receive additional tax training from the IRS. They can work with both individual taxpayers and businesses.

or IRS Revenue Officer There are no auditors – they are primarily focused on collections, including liens and tax payments. IRS revenue officers are typically involved in significant tax liens. According to Werfel, the average debt an IRS revenue officer seeks to collect is $110,000.

IRS revenue agents and IRS revenue officers are both different special agents Those who work on criminal matters with the IRS-Criminal Investigations. IRS-CI is the sixth largest law enforcement agency in the United States. CI has approximately 3,000 employees, approximately 70% of whom are special agents, and only these special agents carry firearms. This statement does not apply to them.

NTEU response

The National Treasury Employees Union, which represents federal employees in 34 departments and agencies, including the IRS, supports the policy change.

“NTEU welcomes the IRS decision to suspend unannounced visits by IRS Field Collection employees,” said Tony Reardon, NTEU National President. “The safety of IRS employees is critical, and this decision will help protect those whose jobs have become more dangerous in recent years due to false, inflammatory rhetoric against the agency and its workforce. We applaud Commissioner Werfel’s swift action following safety concerns raised by NTEU leaders and IRS Field Collection employees who faced unsafe situations that threatened their safety. We look forward to working with the IRS on these and other actions to protect the safety of all IRS employees.”


Security is clearly an issue. According to the IRS, these unannounced visits to homes and businesses presented risks to IRS revenue officers. The IRS notes that revenue officers routinely faced danger and uncertainty making unannounced visits to settle taxes.

Taxpayer confusion

There were also concerns about fraud. A rise in taxpayer-bombing scams has fueled confusion about home visits by IRS revenue officers. Sometimes fraudulent contractors show up at the door posing as IRS agents, causing confusion for taxpayers and local law enforcement.

This made it difficult for taxpayers to distinguish between real IRS representatives and imposters. Earlier this year, residents of Floyd County, Georgia were shocked when they saw a man visiting homes claiming to be from the IRS. Several residents called the police — one even sent them a video of a man claiming to be an IRS employee. It was definitely from the IRS, but the residents were still upset.

“These visits have created additional anxiety for taxpayers who are already wary of potential fraudsters,” Werfel said. “At the same time, the uncertainty of what IRS officials will face when they visit these homes has also created stress for them. It’s the right thing to do and the right time to end it.”

Additional changes

The change reflects the ongoing evolution of the work of the tax administration. Werfel noted that additional funding provided by the Inflation Reduction Act will add additional staff for compliance work. The IRS continues to focus on key areas such as high-income taxpayers with tax issues as efforts continue to transform the IRS. Improved analytics will also help IRS compliance efforts focus on those with the most serious tax problems.

Appointment letters

Keep checking your mail. Instead of unannounced visits, revenue officers contact taxpayers through an appointment letter known as a 725-B letter. With this letter, taxpayers whose cases have been referred to a revenue officer can schedule face-to-face meetings at a designated place and time, with the necessary information and documents in hand, so that their case can be resolved more quickly.

That means, says IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel, that “starting today, if someone knocks on your door, it’s highly unlikely” it’s an IRS employee unless you make an appointment.

Werfel said, “We’re looking at how the IRS works to better serve taxpayers and the nation, and making this change makes sense. Changing this long-standing procedure will increase confidence in the work of our tax administration and improve overall safety for taxpayers and IRS employees.”

There will still be limited visits

The IRS noted that there will still be extremely limited situations where unannounced visits will occur. These rare cases include the issuance of subpoenas and subpoenas, as well as sensitive enforcement activities involving the seizure of assets, particularly assets at risk beyond the reach of authorities. To put that in perspective, these situations typically number fewer than a few hundred each year – a fraction of the tens of thousands of unannounced visits under the old policy.

IRS Strategic Operating Plan

The changes are part of the IRS Strategic Operations Plan, which was released in April. With 10 years of funding made available from last year’s Inflation Reduction Act, the IRS has launched an effort to transform the agency to improve taxpayer services, add fairness to tax compliance efforts, and modernize technology to better serve taxpayers, tax professionals and the nation.

This clear policy change, Werfel says, will be good for the IRS and taxpayers. “We have the tools we need to successfully collect revenue without adding stress with unannounced visits,” Werfel said. “The only losers with this policy change are the fraudsters who represent the IRS.”

More from FORBESIs it really the IRS knocking on your door?More from FORBESThe IRS is unveiling an $80 billion spending plan — and it’s probably not what you expect

Home Page




Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors