Sunday, October 1, 2023

IRS Ending Unannounced Home Visits By Armed Agents

'We have the tools we need to successfully collect revenue without adding stress with unannounced visits... '

(Headline USAThe Internal Revenue Service announced on Monday that it plans to “end” most unannounced home visits by armed agents in order to address “public confusion and enhance overall safety measures for taxpayers and employees.”

With the exception of “a few unique circumstances,” unannounced visits to taxpayers’ homes and businesses will end effective immediately, and taxpayers will instead receive a mailed letter to schedule appointments, the agency said. 

The decision comes amidst “increased security concerns in recent years on multiple fronts,” the agency said.

“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,” IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel 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.”

A rising number of scammers posing as IRS agents and threats to legitimate agents making home visits were two of the factors motivating the change, Werfel said.

“The growth in scam artists bombarding taxpayers has increased confusion about home visits by IRS revenue officers,” the agency said. “Sometimes scam artists appear at the door posing as IRS agents, creating confusion for not just the taxpayers living there but local law-enforcement. We have the tools we need to successfully collect revenue without adding stress with unannounced visits.”

The agency has come under strict scrutiny from conservatives over the past year, especially following President Joe Biden’s proposal to expand its size and scope. One report found that the IRS has been stockpiling guns and ammo since the pandemic.

Since 2020, the agency has spent $2.3 million on ammunition, $1.2 million on ballistic shields, $474,000 on Smith & Wesson rifles, $463,000 on Beretta 1301 tactical shotguns, and $243,000 on body armor vests. Another $1.3 million went toward “various other gear for criminal investigation agents,” according to the report.

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