IRS Making Unannounced Visits

BiggsKofford has become aware of some changes at the Internal Revenue Service that we wanted to pass on to you. Recently, we have noted an increase in the occurrences of IRS field agents appearing at taxpayers’ places of business with no advance notice. In conversing with some of these agents, we learned that the IRS recently changed its posture to give much greater emphasis on in-person contacts with taxpayers. The belief is that the in-person contacts will have a better chance of getting taxpayers’ attention than just sending letters in the mail.

The trigger for these visits is if a taxpayer has an outstanding issue, such as unfiled tax returns, balances owed, or notices received that have not been responded to. If you are compliant with your income and payroll tax obligations, then this should not happen to you. You could still be subject to a regulatory audit, but the initial contact for that would be through correspondence in the mail.

In the event a revenue agent (or person claiming to be such) appears in your place of business, please be assured that you are not obligated to begin discussing your case with them on the spot. You can ask to see their official badge, and they will typically leave a business card with the IRS logo on it. They will want you (or an authorized representative) to call them back by a specified date.

We know that having a revenue agent show up at your business unannounced can be an intimidating experience. If this happens to you, BiggsKofford can call the agent under power of attorney to gain an understanding of the situation, and then work with you and the agent to get it resolved as quickly as possible. We also have the means to validate that the person is a legitimate agent and not a scam.

As always, if you receive a phone call that purports to be from the IRS and threatens a lawsuit, criminal charges, or similar, then it is highly likely to be a scam. The IRS does not normally initiate contact with taxpayers over the phone.

Please contact Greg Gandy, Michael McDevitt, or Deborah Helton if you have any questions about this information.