The IRS announced it will be increasing efforts to reach high-income taxpayers who have not filed one or more of their tax returns by increasing the use of methods available to them. The IRS will include in those methods personal visits.
The IRS has hired additional enforcement personnel, and IRS revenue officers across the country will increase face-to-face visits with high-income taxpayers who have not 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.
According to Paul Mamo, Director of Collection Operations, SB/SE, “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.”
The goal is to bring delinquent taxpayers into compliance with their filing and payment tax obligations and promote future tax compliance.
Among other things, the IRS will use the Delinquent Return Refund Hold program (DRRH). This program systemically holds an individual taxpayer’s income tax refund when their account has at least one unfiled tax return within the five years surrounding that return.
The IRS reminds taxpayers that many non-filers are actually owed refunds, and they are also encouraged to look into filing their tax returns. The deadline for claiming refunds on 2017 tax returns is April 15, 2021.
For the current tax season, taxpayers are reminded to file their 2020 tax return by the April 15th 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 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 IRS visits that are being done, high-income non-filers 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. During the visits, IRS revenue officers will share information and work with the taxpayer to hopefully resolve the tax issue.
For this new initiative, these high-income taxpayers have typically received numerous letters from the IRS over an extended period of time, so it should not be any surprise that they have tax issues.
Revenue officer visits shouldn’t be confused with scams. Here’s what to look for:
• While most IRS revenue officer visits to a taxpayer are unannounced, they will always provide two forms of official credentials. Both include a serial number and photo of the IRS employee. Taxpayers have the right to see each of these credentials.
• A legitimate revenue officer will help taxpayers understand and meet their tax obligations. The officer will explain the liability to the taxpayer, along with the consequences of failing to comply with the law. The IRS employee will not make threats or demand an unusual form of payment for a nonexistent liability.
• Visits by revenue officers generally occur after numerous contacts by mail about an existing tax issue; taxpayers should be aware they have a tax issue when these visits occur.
• If someone has an outstanding federal tax debt, the visiting officer will request payment but will provide a range of options, including paying by check written to the U.S. Treasury.
Visit IRS.gov for more information on identifying legitimate IRS representatives and how to report scams.
If you have tax problems and don't want to deal with the IRS directly, please contact me so that I can get between you and the IRS. They will talk with me instead and I can get started in helping you resolve these issues so you can put it behind you.