As part of an effort to ensure compliance and fairness, the Internal Revenue Service recently announced that it will increase efforts to visit high-income taxpayers for failure to file a tax return for one or more prior years.
Due to the recent hiring of additional enforcement staff, the IRS revenue officers throughout the country will meet with high-income taxpayers (those receiving income in excess of $100,000) who have failed to file a tax return for 2018 or previous years. These visits are meant to inform non-complying taxpayers of their tax filing and payment obligations and bring them into compliance.
“The IRS is committed to fairness in the tax system, and we want to remind people across all income categories that they need to file their taxes,” said Paul Mamo, Director of Collection Operations, Small Business/Self Employed Division. “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 IRS reminded taxpayers that taxpayers should file their 2019 tax return by the April 15 filing deadline regardless of whether they can pay in full and that a six -month filing extension is available. However, the filing of a tax extension 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.”
What to Expect
The IRS wants taxpayers who file their tax returns and pay or enter into agreements to pay their taxes to know that the IRS is aggressively pursuing others who have failed to meet their filing and payment obligations.
During the visits, IRS revenue officers will share information and work with the taxpayer to hopefully resolve the tax issue.
For those who refuse to pay, the IRS has a number of options available under the law, ranging from enforced collection actions and, when appropriate, pursuing criminal cases against taxpayers. IRS compliance personnel are also now working more closely with IRS criminal investigators on priority compliance issues, including high-income cases.
“These compliance visits underscore the importance of people filing their taxes this April, even if they can’t pay the full amount of tax due,” said Hank Kea, Director of Field Collection Operations, Small Business/Self Employed Division. “Not filing because you don’t believe you can pay at the time of filing makes the problem worse, as interest and penalties mount over time. We have many payment options available on IRS.gov to help taxpayers. It’s better to work on these issues upfront rather than ignoring it and ultimately getting to the point of the IRS taking more serious action. Our continued use of ever-changing technologies, coupled with additional enforcement personnel, would suggest that waiting is not a viable option for delinquent taxpayers.”
What is a Revenue Officer?
Revenue officers are IRS collection employees who work to resolve compliance issues, such as unfiled tax returns or unpaid taxes. Revenue officers conduct interviews to gather financial information and provide taxpayers with the necessary steps to become and remain compliant with their tax obligations. When necessary, they will take the appropriate enforcement actions to collect the amount owed, while respecting taxpayer rights and following the law.
Revenue Officer Visits are Not a Scam
The high-income taxpayers who will be visited by a Revenue officer have typically received several letters from the IRS over a number of months, so they are generally aware of their tax issue.
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 identification, both include a serial number and photo of the Revenue officer. Taxpayers can ask to these credentials.
- A legitimate revenue officer helps 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 nor 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.
Help for Failure to File a Tax Return
If you want to avoid a surprise visit by the IRS for failure to file a tax return, contact the CPAs at East Coast Tax Consulting Group today at 561-826-9303 for a free consultation. We’ll help you prepare and file the necessary tax returns and represent you before the IRS to meet your payment obligations.