On February 19, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service released the news that it will enhance its efforts to visit high income earners who have failed to timely file one or more tax returns. The visits will target those who generally earn $100,000 or more in a single tax year.

Visits will be conducted by trained IRS revenue officers. It is their job to resolve tax compliance issues by conducting in-person interviews and gathering financial information. Tax payers who can expect are visit are typically those who have already received numerous notices and request from the IRS over a period of time.

The news release offers some important tips on how to properly identify a valid IRS agent so as to prevent scams. First, agents will always provide two forms of official IRS credentials. They will both include a photo of the employee and a serial number. Second, be aware of unusual request for payment. A legitimate agent will fully understand tax liabilities and consequences, and will be able to explain them to you. That explanation will never include threats or demand for payment of liabilities that do not exist. A range of payment options will be offered, including a check made payable to the U.S. Treasury.

If you have questions or concerns regarding a visit by an IRS agent, you should contact an experienced tax attorney as soon as possible. He or she will be able to assist in confirming an agent’s credentials, as well as negotiating an acceptable payment plan. A taxpayer should always seek expert advice if there is any question regarding legitimacy of a payment request.