IRS Announces End to Unannounced Door-to-Door Visits

Agents will stop showing up at the door to collect unpaid taxes

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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced a significant policy shift on July 24, 2023, as part of a broader effort to transform its operations. This change aims to reduce public confusion and enhance safety measures for taxpayers and IRS employees by ending most unannounced visits made by agency revenue officers.

Traditionally, unarmed IRS revenue officers have visited households and businesses to assist taxpayers in resolving their tax-related issues, including unpaid taxes and unfiled tax returns. However, unannounced visits will be discontinued effective immediately, with exceptions for a few unique circumstances. Instead, the IRS will schedule meetings by sending mailed letters to taxpayers.

IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel announced the decision to implement this change as part of the IRS’s larger effort to improve operations following the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act last year and the establishment of the new IRS Strategic Operating Plan in April.

Werfel stated that this change is a common-sense step towards better-serving taxpayers and the nation, instilling confidence in tax administration work and ensuring overall safety for all involved parties.

The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) supports this policy change, emphasizing the paramount importance of IRS employee safety. NTEU President Tony Reardon commends Commissioner Werfel for taking swift action in response to safety concerns raised by NTEU leaders and IRS Field Collection employees who have faced dangerous situations due to false and inflammatory rhetoric about the agency and its workforce.

In recent years, there have been increased security concerns on multiple fronts, including scam artists posing as IRS agents, leading to confusion for taxpayers and local law enforcement. Unannounced visits to homes and businesses by IRS revenue officers have also presented risks and uncertainty, creating anxiety for taxpayers and additional stress for IRS employees.

The change reflects the evolving nature of tax administration work, with increased funding under the Inflation Reduction Act allowing for more staffing for compliance work. The IRS continues to focus on key areas, such as high-income taxpayers with tax issues, and improved analytics will help concentrate compliance efforts on those with the most severe tax problems.

With this new policy, taxpayers can expect appointment letters for scheduling face-to-face meetings with revenue officers. This approach will help taxpayers feel more prepared and facilitate faster resolution of their cases, eliminating the need for multiple future meetings.

Although unannounced visits will be discontinued in most cases, there will be rare instances where they will still occur. These situations include service of summonses and subpoenas and sensitive enforcement activities involving asset seizures, especially in cases where assets are at risk of being concealed from the government. However, these occurrences are expected to be limited, numbering far fewer than the tens of thousands of unannounced visits made annually under the previous policy.

The IRS will update its website ( and internal guidelines in the coming months to reflect these changes. Additionally, the agency reminds taxpayers with unpaid tax bills that various options are available to assist them with their outstanding balances.

These changes are part of the IRS Strategic Operating Plan, introduced in April, and the agency’s ongoing efforts to transform its operations, improve taxpayer service, ensure fair tax compliance, and modernize technology better to serve taxpayers, tax professionals, and the nation.

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