In-Person IRS Tax Compliance Visits Coming to Your Neighborhood Soon!
The IRS has announced, in a Fact Sheet 2019-15, that it will begin visiting taxpayers who have ongoing tax compliance issues and they are expanding their efforts to ensure businesses and individuals are paying their taxes, particularly payroll taxes, with in-person visits planned by revenue officers to more parts of the country, starting in Wisconsin and later this in Texas and Arkansas.
Taxpayers should be aware they have a tax issue before they receive a visit from a revenue officer (revenue officers are trained IRS civil enforcement employees who work to resolve compliance issues, such as missing returns or unpaid taxes). However, the first face-to-face contact from a revenue officer will almost always be unannounced. When an IRS revenue officer visits a taxpayer, they will always provide two forms of official credentials, both include a serial number and photo of the IRS employee. Taxpayers have the right to see each of these credentials.
A legitimate revenue officer is there to help taxpayers understand and meet their tax obligations, not to make threats or demand some unusual form of payment for a nonexistent liability. The officer will explain the liability to the taxpayer.
The IRS emphasizes these visits typically occur after numerous contacts by mail about an existing tax issue; taxpayers should be aware they have a tax issue when these visits occur.
If Someone Has An Outstanding Federal Tax Debt, The Visiting Officer Will Request Payment,
But Will Provide A Range Of Payment Options,
Including Paying By Check That
Is Payable To The U.S. Treasury.
The goal of the visits is to help resolve tax compliance issues by meeting face-to-face with taxpayers who have ongoing tax issues, such as payroll tax compliance for employers.
The IRS has been identifying areas of the country where it either no longer has an office near taxpayers or where it has no presence at all. The new program will supplement the IRS’s Private Debt Collection program, in which it works with contracted collection agencies who telephone individual taxpayers who owe longstanding tax debts.
“These new visits that we're doing outside involve teams of revenue officers traveling to locations where we have reduced resources or no resources to visit higher-risk cases involving larger balances due and cases that have needed visits from a revenue officer for some time, in some cases years,” said Guillot.
One of the main focuses will be unremitted payroll taxes. “In many cases business owners have been withholding large amounts of employment taxes from their employees and not [sending] them over to the Treasury,” said Guillot.
“It’s an extremely high priority. Our efforts are to try to get them into compliance when we meet with them face to face. We have data that proves this is an effective way of getting them to be compliant, which is the kind of success we want, because if the business becomes compliant, they continue to provide jobs for our citizens, and that's good for everybody.”
He noted that there will be additional compliance events like this throughout the year. The IRS plans to send around a dozen revenue officers to an area and they will be splitting up to visit multiple taxpayers to resolve high-priority cases.