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IRS to Step Up Audits Targeting High-Income Taxpayers


Posted in on February 28, 2020

On February 19, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that it will be stepping up its efforts to target high-income taxpayers who have failed to file all necessary return forms in prior years. According to the IRS’s News Release:

“Following the recent and ongoing hiring of additional enforcement personnel, IRS revenue officers across the country will increase face-to-face visits with high-income taxpayers who haven't filed tax returns in 2018 or previous years. These visits are primarily aimed at informing these taxpayers of their tax filing and paying obligations and bringing these taxpayers into compliance.”

The News Release goes on to quote the IRS’s Director of Collection Operations, Small Business/Self Employed Division as stating, “It is always worthwhile to take advantage of various methods of getting back into filing or payment compliance before being personally contacted by the IRS.” If you are a high-income taxpayer and you are concerned that you may be at risk for an IRS audit, we encourage you to contact our Virginia tax lawyer Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner of Thorn Law Group, promptly.

Have You Failed to File a Required IRS Return?

In order to mitigate their risk of being audited by the IRS, high-income taxpayers must timely file all necessary return forms on an annual basis. This, of course, includes Form 1040 (or the appropriate variant), but it could potentially include various other forms as well.

For example, if you own a business, you have additional reporting obligations. This is true even if you are the sole owner and you treat the business’s revenue as pass-through income on your personal returns. Additionally, if you have offshore accounts or hold other assets overseas, then you have additional reporting obligations under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). There are multiple other scenarios in which high-income taxpayers will have additional and complex IRS reporting obligations as well.

What Should You Do if IRS Auditors Show Up at Your Door?

The IRS’s News Release says that it will be enforcing high-income taxpayers’ reporting obligations through “face-to-face visits.” So, if IRS auditors show up at your door, what should you do?

Facing an in-person IRS audit (also known as a field audit) is a serious matter. While the IRS’s News Release states that it is enhancing its enforcement efforts because individuals who, “pay their taxes deserve to know that the IRS is aggressively pursuing others who have failed to satisfy their filing and payment obligations,” the reality is that these efforts generate significant revenue through the IRS through substantial tax liability, interest, and penalties. If you are being audited because you have past-due returns, you need to ensure that you are not penalized unfairly; and, in order to do so, your first step is to speak with an experienced Virginia tax attorney.

Contact a Skilled Virginia Tax Lawyer Today

Are you facing an IRS field audit in Virginia? If so, our team of highly-experienced tax lawyers can help you. To request a confidential initial consultation with Virginia tax attorney Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner, Thorn Law Group, call 703-752-3752 or inquire online today.

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