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IRS Changes Collection Approach: Protecting Employees and Taxpayers

Unannounced visits to taxpayers by revenue officers are mostly ending. Learn about the new policy replacing surprise home visits with scheduled meetings via Letter 725-B and how it aims to enhance safety and reduce confusion.

For decades, collection officers have popped in uninvited at homes of individuals with large delinquent tax debts after first trying to resolve the matter through the mail. The IRS is now curtailing this policy, in part to protect the safety of its employees and in part to reduce confusion by taxpayers who are worried about scam artists.

Revenue officers will now contact taxpayers by mailing them Letter 725-B to schedule a face-to-face meeting. Note that this letter will have been preceded in many cases by prior notices requesting the taxpayer to pay the overdue taxes.

There will still be some very limited circumstances requiring pop-in visits. For example, to serve summonses and subpoenas, and to seize assets in egregious cases.

IRS ends unannounced revenue officer visits to taxpayers; major change to end confusion, enhance safety as part of larger agency transformation efforts

As part of a larger transformation effort, the Internal Revenue Service today announced a major policy change that will end most unannounced visits to taxpayers by agency revenue officers to reduce public confusion and enhance overall safety measures for taxpayers and employees.

The change reverses a decades-long practice by IRS revenue officers, the unarmed agency employees whose duties include visiting households and businesses to help taxpayers resolve their account balances by collecting unpaid taxes and unfiled tax returns. Effective immediately, unannounced visits will end except in a few unique circumstances and will be replaced with mailed letters to schedule meetings.

IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel announced the change as part of a larger effort to transform IRS operations following passage of the Inflation Reduction Act last year and the creation of the new IRS Strategic Operating Plan in April.

“We are taking a fresh look at how the IRS operates to better serve taxpayers and the nation, and making this change is a common-sense step,” Werfel said. “Changing this long-standing procedure will increase confidence in our tax administration work and improve overall safety for taxpayers and IRS employees.”

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