WASHINGTON (UPI) — The IRS has announced a significant policy update on Monday, ending unannounced visits by officers.
The policy change is part of an overall transformation of the agency to follow its new strategic plan and funding from the Inflation Reduction Act.
“We are taking a fresh look at how the IRS operates to better serve taxpayers and the nation, and making this change is a common-sense step,” Danny Werfel, IRS commissioner, said in a statement. “Changing this long-standing procedure will increase confidence in our tax administration work and improve overall safety for taxpayers and IRS employees.”
Agents can still make visits under special circumstances
The IRS may still make unannounced visits in special circumstances, the news release from the agency said. More often, taxpayers will receive appointment letters detailing an incoming meeting with IRS employees.
The IRS said the change is also meant to “end confusion, enhance safety.” Werfel added that unannounced visits created an opportunity for scammers to pose as IRS agents and extract sensitive information from taxpayers.
IRS agents often placed in dangerous situations
Agents performing these visits were also placed in potentially dangerous situations.
“These visits created extra anxiety for taxpayers already wary of potential scam artists,” Werfel said. “At the same time, the uncertainty around what IRS employees faced when visiting these homes created stress for them, as well. This is the right thing to do and the right time to end it.”
“The only losers with this change in policy are scammers posing as the IRS,” Werfel continued.
The IRS notes that it does not contact taxpayers by email, text message or social media to request personal or financial information.