25 Feb Have Unfiled Tax Returns? An IRS Officer May Be Stopping by Soon
The IRS has recently announced that it will be increasing its efforts and taking a more direct approach to handling taxpayers who haven’t filed tax returns. Their primary focus will be on high-income taxpayers who did not file a tax return in 2018 or previous years. If you fall into this category, it’s important to be aware of what kind of action the IRS may take and what you can do about your delinquent taxes—and that you contact a Provo CPA for assistance right away.
In-Person Visits from the IRS
The IRS is currently hiring additional enforcement personnel in order to increase the frequency of in-person visits with high-income non-filers. This means that it is entirely possible for an IRS revenue officer (RO) to come to your door regarding your past tax returns. These visits are not meant to threaten or frighten you, but are intended to inform you of your obligation to file and pay your taxes, and to help bring you into compliance.
Recognize a Legitimate RO
With this change in enforcement strategy, the IRS has acknowledged that it opens up opportunities for scammers to try to take advantage of taxpayers. Here are a few ways for you to recognize if the person at your door is a legitimate RO from the IRS:
- You’ve received notices about your unfiled taxes before. A visit from an RO should not be the first contact you’ve had about your overdue tax debt and unfiled returns. The IRS will send several notices in the mail before they instigate a face-to-face visit, so you should already be well aware of the situation. However, visits from an RO are usually unannounced, so you shouldn’t expect to be contacted about an impending visit.
- A legitimate RO should always have two forms of credentials with them, and you have the right to ask to see both of them. Both forms of identification should have a serial number and a photo of the IRS employee on them.
- The RO should explain your tax liability to you, as well as possible consequences of failing to comply. However, they will not make threats against you for not paying.
- An IRS employee will request payment from you. However, they will never request an unusual form of payment, and they should offer you a wide range of payment options. One of those options will always be a check made payable to the U.S. Treasury.
So, if an RO comes knocking at your door threatening criminal action regarding a debt you weren’t even aware of, you can be fairly certain that they are not a legitimate IRS employee. However, if you’re aware that you have unfiled taxes, they provide valid credentials, and offer you multiple payment options, it’s likely a legitimate RO coming for a visit.
Delinquent Return Refund Hold Program
Another new procedure you should be aware of is the Delinquent Return Refund Hold (DRRH) program. You may already know that the IRS will keep any tax refunds you’re eligible for if you have unpaid tax debt. The new DRRH program also allows them to hold any refunds you’re do if you have an unfiled return within the five years surrounding that refund. So, if you have any unfiled returns in the last five years and you’re expecting a refund this year, the IRS may hold it until you’ve filed that return and paid any tax debt on it.
Address Your Delinquent Returns before They Visit
You shouldn’t wait for an RO to knock on your door before you address your unfiled tax returns or unpaid tax debt. If you’re a high-income taxpayer with unfiled returns, you should consult with a Provo CPA as soon as you can. Contact The Accounting Guys and schedule an appointment today. We’ll sit down with you to discuss your unfiled returns and unpaid taxes, and help you to find the best way of addressing those debts. Call our Provo CPA firm today.