Knock knock. Who’s there? Not the IRS.

The IRS states it will end most unannounced visits by revenue officers:

In a major policy change, the IRS stated that it will end most unannounced visits by revenue officers. Instead of a surprise visit, taxpayers can now expect to receive an appointment letter, known as a 725-B, and schedule a follow-up meeting with the revenue officer.

The move comes as part of the larger effort to transform operations under the new IRS Strategic Operating Plan. IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel said, “We are taking a fresh look at how the IRS operates to better server taxpayers and the nation, and making this change is a common-sense step.” This procedural change should reduce public confusion and enhance overall safety measures for taxpayers and IRS employees.

In recent years there has been a growth in scam artists bombarding taxpayers, increasing confusion about home visits by IRS agents. According to the IRS news release (IR-2023-133), scam artists would appear at the door posing as IRS agents, creating confusion for taxpayers and for local law enforcement.

The move is supported by the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU). Tony Reardon, president of NTEU, responded to the policy change. “NTEU welcomes the IRS decision to halt unannounced visits by IRS Field Collection employees. The safety of IRS employees is of paramount importance and this decision will help protect those whose jobs have only grown more dangerous in recent years because of false, inflammatory rhetoric about the agency and its workforce.”

Tax practitioners, especially those who work tax resolution cases, should let their clients know about the policy change. When a taxpayer has engaged a representative who has a valid power of attorney filed with the IRS, all communication (including face-to-face meetings) are initiated with the representative.

That isn’t the IRS knocking at the door. It’s a scam artist, not a joke.

Mark Seid, EA, CPA has over 25 years of experience in field of taxation focused on tax controversy. A National Tax Practice Institute graduate, Mark is admitted to practice before the U.S. Tax Court. He has served as an Internal Revenue Agent with the IRS in San Jose and San Luis Obispo, California, a state director for the California Society of Enrolled Agents, and the chair for the society’s Finance and Budget committee. He regularly presents courses to tax professionals on issues affecting small businesses.

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