Even though the Internal Revenue Service is often criticized and disliked, the recent announcement they made is something most Americans would wholeheartedly support. They declared an end to one of their disliked practices, the unannounced revenue officer visits. This shows that even flawed government agencies can make decisions that align with public sentiment, just like a broken clock being right twice a day.
“As part of a larger transformation effort, the Internal Revenue Service today announced a major policy change that will end most unannounced visits to taxpayers by agency revenue officers to reduce public confusion and enhance overall safety measures for taxpayers and employees,” the statement reads.
In a rather amusing manner, the IRS attempted to portray their unannounced visits as a helpful service to taxpayers, claiming they were there to assist. However, in reality, these visits were a significant invasion of privacy, despite the agency’s efforts to present them otherwise.
According to the IRS, this practice of unannounced visits had been in place for many years and involved unarmed agency employees, known as revenue officers, who would visit homes and businesses to aid taxpayers in settling their outstanding tax debts and unfiled tax returns.
The IRS stated that the changes would be implemented immediately. As a result, while they will discontinue unannounced visits, it seems that they will replace them with scheduled visits instead.
“We are taking a fresh look at how the IRS operates to better serve taxpayers and the nation, and making this change is a common-sense step. Changing this long-standing procedure will increase confidence in our tax administration work and improve overall safety for taxpayers and IRS employees,” according to IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel.
Tony Reardon, the National President of the National Treasury Employees Union said, “NTEU welcomes the IRS decision to halt unannounced visits by IRS Field Collection employees. The safety of IRS employees is of paramount importance and this decision will help protect those whose jobs have only grown more dangerous in recent years because of false, inflammatory rhetoric about the agency and its workforce.”