May 2017 JD Supra
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Generally, IRS sends a letter or a notice via regular mail notifying a Taxpayer of a potential visit.  Nonetheless, IRS may also show up unannounced at the Taxpayer’s home or place of business.    IRS wants Taxpayers to understand the reasons for IRS representative visits, and how to be sure that they are indeed IRS representatives.   To that end, in April 2017, the Internal Revenue Service released “tips” regarding how Taxpayers may determine if IRS is really knocking at the door.  It released these tips based on the amount of phone and in-person scams that take place across the U.S.

An Internal Revenue Service representative is required to provide two forms of official credentials known as the pocket commission and a HSPD-12 card.  Taxpayers have the right to ask to see both credentials.

IRS makes unannounced visits to a Taxpayer:

  1. To discuss taxes owed or tax returns due, known as a Collection Visit.  When the Internal Revenue Service uses private debt collectors, it must give written notice to the Taxpayer.  These collectors cannot accept payments.  All checks must be payable to the U.S. Treasury and sent directly to the IRS.
  2. Under audit, known as an Audit Visit.  However, Taxpayers are normally first notified by mail and then receive a call from an Internal Revenue Service auditor to schedule the visits.
  3. Being investigated by an IRS criminal investigator, known as a Criminal Investigation Visit.  The criminal investigators are federal law enforcement agents and will not ask for payment.

Taxpayers need to know that IRS:

  • Will not call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer.
  • Will first mail a bill to a taxpayer who owes taxes.
  • Will not demand that Taxpayers pay taxes without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
  • Will not bring in local police, immigration officers or other law-enforcement and arrest a Taxpayer for not paying.
  • Cannot revoke a Taxpayer’s driver’s license, business licenses, or immigration status.

Don’t be a victim of your own making.  Why be a victim of an impersonation scam?  Why have an Internal Revenue Service representative visit you at home or place of work?  If you owe taxes, consult your tax specialist to make arrangements for a payment plan or offer in compromise.