How The IRS Will Contact You
The IRS only initiates direct contact with taxpayers in certain situations and in particular ways, namely when a taxpayer has failed to file a tax return or is struggling to pay a tax debt. Typically, taxpayers who encounter these kinds of tax issues will receive multiple letters through the mail from the agency. It is only when taxpayers fail to respond to these letters in a timely fashion that interest and penalties start to add up.
The IRS Contacts Taxpayers Through the Regular Mail
In the majority of cases, when the IRS needs to contact a taxpayer it will do so by sending letters through the regular mail, delivered by the United States Postal Service (USPS). The IRS doesn’t usually contact taxpayers over the phone, and if they do so, will only call in order to schedule an in-person visit. If you receive a phone call or voicemail from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for your personal information or demanding payment over the phone, refrain from doing so, as it is most likely a scam.
IRS In-Person Visits
While most communications between taxpayers and the IRS go through the mail, there are a few circumstances when the agency will actually visit a home or business, usually as part of:
- A collection investigation;
- An audit; or
- An ongoing criminal investigation.
These visits occur outside of an IRS office and are usually conducted by one of the following types of IRS employees:
- Revenue officers, whose visits are often unscheduled and who focus on resolving compliance issues, primarily those related to unfiled returns and unpaid taxes;
- Revenue agents, who will make contact with taxpayers by mail or phone before conducting in-person field audits of financial books and records; or
- Special agents with IRS Criminal Investigation, who investigate criminal violations and financial crimes, like money laundering and may arrive unannounced, although they will never demand payment.
Reporting Impersonation Scams
Unfortunately, many people impersonate IRS employees in an attempt to scam taxpayers. These scams can take a variety of different forms, like phone calls, emails, and letters. Many IRS impersonators also use threats in an attempt to intimidate victims into paying fake tax bills. To report such an attempt, taxpayers can:
- Notify the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration online;
- Report the phone scam to the Federal Trade Commission;
- Report the scam by calling 800-366-4484; or
- Report an unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS or a related system at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also see a list of the most common tax scams by visiting the official IRS website.
Florida and Nationwide Unfiled Tax Lawyer
If you have been contacted by the IRS about an unfiled tax return or unpaid tax bill, don’t hesitate to call 386-490-9949 and set up a meeting with CPA, former FBI Special Agent, and dedicated Florida unfiled tax lawyer Ronald Cutler, P.A. We can walk you through your legal options and help you come up with an arrangement that best suits your needs.