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Published:   |   Last Updated: February 8, 2024

IRS halts most unannounced collection employee visits to taxpayers


IRS Haults most unannounced visits to taxpayers

On July 24, the IRS announced that it will immediately end most unannounced revenue officer (RO) visits. 

For decades, IRS ROs have visited households and businesses as part of their efforts to collect federal tax liabilities. In a major policy change, the IRS has stopped most unannounced RO visits to taxpayers to reduce public confusion and enhance overall safety measures for both taxpayers and employees. 

What is a Revenue Officer? 

IRS ROs are unarmed civil employees whose duties include visiting households and businesses to help taxpayers resolve their account balances. Their job is to collect unpaid federal taxes and to secure past-due federal tax returns. ROs also educate taxpayers on their tax filing and paying obligations and provide guidance and service on a wide range of financial issues to help taxpayers resolve their tax issues. They also ensure taxpayers are aware of their rights under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. The IRS currently has about 2,300 ROs working cases across the country.  

How do Revenue Officers work? 

ROs conduct interviews with taxpayers and/or their representatives as part of the process of collecting delinquent taxes and securing past-due tax returns. Through interviews and research, the ROs get and analyze financial information to determine taxpayers’ ability to pay their tax bill. ROs consider alternative means of resolving tax debt issues when taxpayers cannot pay the debt in full and provide taxpayers with resources that can help, including: 

  • Setting up payment agreements that allow taxpayers to pay their bills over time; 
  • When appropriate, granting relief from penalties imposed when tax bills are overdue; or 
  • Suspending collection of accounts due to financial hardship. 

If the IRS is unable to reach an agreement with a taxpayer, enforcement actions may be taken. For more information about the IRS collection process, visit our Get Help page. 

Why is the IRS stopping these unannounced visits? 

In announcing this policy change, IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel stated, “We are taking a fresh look at how the IRS operates to better serve taxpayers and the nation, and making this change is a common-sense step.” Werfel noted there have been increased security concerns in recent years on multiple fronts. The growth in scam artists bombarding taxpayers has increased confusion about home visits by IRS. Sometimes scam artists appear at the door posing as IRS agents, creating confusion for not just the taxpayers living there but also for local law enforcement. 

What will revenue officers do now instead of these unannounced visits? 

Except in a few unique circumstances, ROs will now send a Letter 725-B, Meeting with Taxpayer – Confirmation, to schedule a meeting. If you receive this letter, you will be able to schedule a face-to-face meeting at a set place and time, with the necessary information and documents in hand to reach resolution of your case more quickly and eliminate the burden of multiple future meetings.  

Are there any exceptions? 

Unannounced visits by ROs will still occur in extremely limited situations, such as when an RO must serve a summons or subpoena, or when sensitive enforcement activities involving seizure of assets are planned. To put this in perspective, these type situations typically number less than a few hundred each year – a small fraction compared to the tens of thousands of unannounced visits that typically occurred each year under the old policy. 

I owe taxes; what should I do before a Revenue Officer contacts me?  

If you have an unpaid tax bill, it’s in your best interest to pay your tax debt as soon as possible because paying can limit the penalties and interest the IRS may charge. However, if you currently can’t pay your taxes in full, the IRS offers a number of payment options. Depending on the type of tax you owe, and how much, different options are available, ranging from short term extensions, to installment agreements, to an offer in compromise. Review our Paying Taxes Get Help Page for more information. 

Additional Resources


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