WASHINGTON — As part of a larger effort to ensure compliance and fairness, the Internal Revenue Service today announced that it will step up efforts to visit high-income taxpayers who in prior years have failed to timely file one or more of their tax returns.
Following the recent and ongoing hiring of additional enforcement personnel, IRS revenue officers across the country will increase face-to-face visits with high-income taxpayers who haven’t filed tax returns in 2018 or previous years. These visits are primarily aimed at informing these taxpayers of their tax filing and paying obligations and bringing these taxpayers into compliance.
“The IRS is committed to fairness in the tax system, and we want to remind people across all income categories that they need to file their taxes,” said Paul Mamo, Director of Collection Operations, Small Business/Self Employed Division. “These visits focusing on high-income taxpayers will be taking place across the country. We want to ensure taxpayers know their options to get right with their taxes and avoid bigger issues later.”
For the current tax season, the IRS reminds taxpayers that everyone should file their 2019 tax return by the April 15 filing deadline regardless of whether they can pay in full. Six-month filing extensions are also available, although that does not extend the April deadline for paying any taxes owed.
“Taxpayers having delinquent filing or payment obligations should consult a competent CPA tax advisor before waiting to be contacted by an IRS revenue officer, Mamo said. “It is always worthwhile to take advantage of various methods of getting back into filing or payment compliance before being personally contacted by the IRS.”
For the new visits taking place, high-income non-filers taxpayers are those who generally received income in excess of $100,000 during a tax year and did not file a tax return with the IRS. Taxpayers who exercise their best efforts in filing their tax returns and paying or entering into agreements to pay their taxes deserve to know that the IRS is aggressively pursuing others who have failed to satisfy their filing and payment obligations.
The IRS was careful to point out that the visits are not scams and provided the following information for taxpayers to use in distinguishing a legitimate visit from a scam:
- IRS revenue officers usually do not announce their visits, but they will provide two forms of official credentials, each displaying a photo of the officer and the officer’s serial number.
- Authentic revenue officers help taxpayers understand and fulfill their tax obligations; revenue officers explain liabilities and consequences, but they do not make threats or demand an “unusual” form of payment for a liability that doesn’t exist.
- Usually, taxpayers have received multiple IRS notices via mail before a revenue officer makes a visit.
- Revenue officers will provide various options for payment, including payment by check to the U.S. Treasury.
- Taxpayers can find more information regarding distinguishing legitimate IRS personnel at IRS.gov.
Finally, taxpayers are well-advised to heed the following quote from Paul Mamo, Director of Collection Operations, Small Business/Self Employed Division, “[t]axpayers having delinquent filing or payment obligations should consult a competent tax advisor before waiting to be contacted by an IRS revenue officer.”
During the visits, IRS revenue officers will share information and work with the taxpayer to hopefully resolve the tax issue.
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Please be advised that, based on current IRS rules and standards, the advice contained herein is not intended or written by the practitioner to be used and cannot be used by the taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties.
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