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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."

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The Internal Revenue Service has, for weeks now, been embroiled in a controversy that alleged that some of its top officials were involved in unfair scrutiny of Tea Party groups in tax matters. Lori Lerner, the official who was the subject of an investigation into the matter by Congress, recently retired.

The Internal Revenue Service recently released a statement, saying that Lerner has retired, effective immediately. Lerner served as the agency's former director of exempt organizations.

Since May, she had been placed on administration leave. An internal agency board was soon due to begin the process of firing her, based on breach of duties and mismanagement.

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Tagged in: Breach of Tax Law
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