The IRS recently announced that it will be holding additional compliance events throughout this year, sending revenue officers to areas that have been underserved in recent years. The agency has identified those areas and is choosing high-priority taxpayers to visit in person.
Who are these high-priority taxpayers? Typically, it will be those who have longstanding tax issues over a certain dollar threshold. They may or may not be in the collections process, but they almost certainly know that they have an issue.
However, it’s not just high-balance taxpayers who could be visited. Due to reduced resources in the past few years, the IRS has had only limited resources to do in-person taxpayer visits, which it considers very useful for promoting tax compliance. Now, new funding has come in that will allow the IRS to enforce tax law in areas where the agency has had little physical presence recently.
“It allows us to create a more level playing field where the IRS has a presence with all taxpayers. It’s not just the high balance due taxpayers,” said a spokesperson for the agency. “These expanded visits we’re doing are going to enable us to get into those communities and have that presence established. We think this is going to help us enhance a more balanced and fair administration of the tax laws.”
In-person visits will be scheduled with revenue officers, who both educate taxpayers and collect delinquent taxes.
Unpaid payroll taxes are one main priority
According to Accounting Today, one focus of the in-person enforcement visits will be unremitted payroll taxes. IRS The spokesperson commented that some businesses have been withholding the taxes but haven’t sent them in to the Treasury Department. The priority is to get those businesses into compliance as soon as possible.
Watch out for IRS impersonators
Even as it announces the increased enforcement push, the IRS is aware that criminals may use this announcement for scams. They may try to impersonate the revenue officers for malicious purposes.
The agency says that taxpayers will know they have a problem long before any in-person visit. There will already have been numerous contacts by mail.
Two things to note that will help you recognize the real thing: First, revenue officers will always provide two types of ID. Both will contain a serial number and the revenue officer’s photo. You have the right to inspect both IDs.
Second, while the revenue officer will be asking to arrange payment, your payment should never go to anyone other than the U.S. Treasury. A range of payment options will be accepted, but they will never include gift cards or prepaid credit cards, for example.