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NEW CHANGE TO IRS POLICY - FIRST CONTACT WITH TAXPAYERS VIA MAIL ONLY

Posted on in Taxation Law

Privacy and the sharing of personal information have many concerned when being contacted by a caller stating that they represent the IRS. Per John Dalrymple, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement: "We are evaluating our contacts with taxpayers, outside of the examination context, to determine whether they present risks with respect to phone scams and other such threats."

The new changes will mitigate any risk taxpayers may take when providing personal information over the phone. Deputy Commissioner Dalrymple, stated the policy change clearly in his memo, dated May 20, 2016, "Effective immediately, all initial contacts with taxpayers to commence and examination must be made by mail, instead of the telephone, using the appropriate initial contact letters."

Implementing written correspondence as the initial contact in case examination will establish the validity of the communication received by the taxpayer. The Deputy Commissioner elaborates on the new policy change throughout the memo, indicating the following:"Employees will use the appropriate initial contact letters listed in the Internal Revenue Manual ( IRM ) to notify a taxpayer when a return is selected for examination, and will not make initial contact by telephone."

The primary contact letters serve as case exam initiation; however, an IRS representative may contact the taxpayer AFTER 14 days from the date of mailing. Additionally, for taxpayers with a valid Form 2848 (Power of Attorney) on file, a copy of the contact letter will be mailed to the representative, also confirmed by Dalrymple, within the memo.

Executing these policy changes provide a secure correspondence and reference for the taxpayer. In cases where further correspondence is required , the contact letter serves as documented communiqué between the IRS and the intended recipient. Putting these new changes into practice will assist in alleviating risk for taxpayers and their personal information. If you are a taxpayer being contacted by phone, or have received an initial contact letter, and would like to discuss the matter further, contact us.

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