IRS ends unannounced visits to taxpayers

The IRS on Monday said it is ending its decades-long practice of agency revenue officers making unannounced visits to taxpayers, citing concerns over agent safety and an increase in scammers.

Unarmed agency employees would visit homes and businesses to collect unpaid taxes and unfiled tax returns. Except for a few unique circumstances, unannounced visits will immediately end and be replaced with mailed letters for taxpayers to schedule meetings, the IRS said.

"The growth in scam artists bombarding taxpayers has increased confusion about home visits by IRS revenue officers. Sometimes scam artists appear at the door posing as IRS agents, creating confusion for not just the taxpayers living there but local law-enforcement," the agency said in an announcement about the new policy.

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