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In a move that seems to provide fodder for countless “knock knock” jokes, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced it will increase the use of in-person visits to ensure taxpayers are in compliance with their tax obligations. As a result, that person knocking on your door who says they are from the IRS may be telling the truth.

The agency stated it will send representatives to meet with taxpayers who have had compliance issues in the past. One of the main efforts will involve a focus on payroll tax compliance.

What is the issue with payroll taxes?

There are instances where business owners are withholding payroll taxes but allegedly failing to send them to the U.S. Department of Treasury.

Should taxpayers be concerned if one of these IRS representatives knocks on their door?

A recent report in Accounting Today notes the move is the result of budget increases leading to an expanded IRS workforce. Unfortunately, this could mean representatives with little experience with the agency are making these in-person visits. The representatives will likely be revenue officers working in conjunction with the agency’s Private Debt Collection program.

Another concern: that might not be an agent at your door after all. Scammers may take advantage of these efforts to gather personal information for use in identity theft crimes. The agency states that although these visits are unannounced, they should not come as a surprise to the taxpayer as the taxpayer would likely have dealt with the agency in the past.

Taxpayers can reduce their risk of a visit from the IRS by coming into compliance with their tax obligations. Various options are available to meet this goal. An attorney experienced in tax debt settlement can review these options along with the risks and benefits of each.