IRS Scraps Unannounced Visits From Revenue Officers

On July 24, 2023, the Internal Revenue Service announced the decision to end one of its more controversial policies, which consists of revenue officers making unannounced visits. 

Though there is a caveat to this policy change. Unannounced revenue officer visits can still occur in exceptional cases, but most of them will be scrapped. 

The IRS will be downsizing this practice in order to alleviate public confusion and create a safer environment for IRS employees and taxpayers.

This practice is decades-long. It involves unarmed IRS agents paying visits to businesses and households to help taxpayers sort out their account balances. They do so by gathering unpaid taxes and unfiled tax returns. 

This policy is set to take place effective immediately. Although unannounced visits will be terminated, the practice will be replaced with letters in the mail that have the aim of scheduling meetings. 

IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel believes this change in IRS policy is a “common-sense” step. He thinks that the policy change will boost confidence in the IRS’ tax administration endeavors and increase safety for American taxpayers and IRS employees.

Tony Reardon, the National President of the National Treasury Employees Union, praised the IRS’ decision to do away with unannounced visits.

He believes such a move will increase safety for IRS employees at a time when the agency and its workforce received flak from some right-wing critics.

Over the years, many right-wing pundits have criticized the IRS, especially under the administration of former President Obama, for allegedly targeting non-profit organizations. 

Like the FBI, the IRS has been placed under the microscope for its behavior that is perceived to be negatively targeting the right on a disproportionate basis.

As the country grows more polarized and Americans gradually lose trust in governing institutions, the IRS will likely face even greater criticism from the public.

This article appeared in TheDailyBeat and has been published here with permission.