IRS to End Unannounced Visits to Private Homes and Businesses

( – Republican lawmakers have debated the need to restrict the actions of the IRS in the wake of President Joe Biden’s efforts to weaponize the agency. In a rare move, the nation’s tax authority capitulated and said it would alter its policies and procedures regarding unannounced visits to private residences and businesses.

On July 24, the IRS issued a news release announcing a “major policy change” that would effectively end “most unannounced visits” to taxpayer residences and private businesses by the service’s revenue officers. The statement said officials decided to update its system to reduce public confusion and enhance the safety of agency workers and taxpayers.

The change will end the IRS’ long-standing practice of sending unarmed officers to taxpayers’ homes and businesses to resolve issues regarding past-due payments and unfiled returns. Moving forward, officers will send an IRS Form 725-B appointment letter. Recipients can use the notice to schedule an in-person meeting with an agency to resolve any outstanding issues.

The news release noted that this change will allow individuals and companies time to prepare for the consultation. Taxpayers can schedule the meeting and collect whatever documents they need to resolve their cases with one visit instead of having the process drawn out indefinitely.

IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel stressed the importance of providing for the safety of taxpayers, businesses, and agency workers. He pointed to the rise in scam artists posing as IRS revenue agents appearing at individuals’ homes, creating confusion for the residents and local law enforcement officers.

Werfel also noted that the new streamlined process would reduce the stress levels of taxpayers who were “already wary” of tax scams. Likewise, IRS agents face “uncertainty” when knocking on an individual’s door unannounced. He said the new policy change was “the right thing to do… [at] the right time.”

The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) posted a statement applauding the policy update. NTEU National President Tony Reardon confirmed that maintaining the safety of federal workers on the job remained its number one priority. He also noted that the revenue agents the union represents would continue the effectively carry out their duties.

The change won’t impact the IRS criminal investigation unit, which uses armed agents to deliver subpoenas and summonses and carry out additional duties related to ongoing probes.

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