The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced it will renew audit efforts that were postponed a few months ago in response to the current coronavirus pandemic. The federal agency, like most organizations and businesses throughout the country, greatly reduced its workforce and operations this past spring. This summer, IRS employees began returning to the office and get back to work.
Earlier this year, the agency announced it would focus audit effort on “aggressively pursuing” high-income taxpayers who have failed to file timely tax returns. It is likely this goal will remain a top priority for the agency. As part of the effort, the agency encouraged high-income taxpayers to review their tax obligations and come into compliance proactively instead of waiting for a visit or other form of contact from an IRS agent.
Who does the IRS consider a high-income taxpayer?
The agency states a high-income taxpayer are those who earn over $100,000 annually. It also stated that it is focusing its efforts on those who meet this definition and have a history of failing to file tax returns.
How will taxpayers know if a contact is an IRS agent or a scam artist?
The IRS generally reaches out first with a mailing. The agency has stated it will send multiple mailings before attempting a face-to-face meeting with a taxpayer who is late in filing tax returns. Taxpayers should be wary of any phone call, text message or email claiming to be from the IRS. The agency has repeated stated it would not contact taxpayers using any of these methods. Instead, a mailing is much more likely.
If an agent does show up for a face-to-face meeting, they should be able to provide two pieces of identification. They will also encourage payment either through a check to the United States Treasury or other payment plan through the government. Any request for cash or personal checks is highly suspect.