The IRS has always emphasized that they won’t contact you through text or email as their first point of contact. However, recently, residents in Floyd County, Georgia, were surprised when a man claiming to be from the IRS visited their homes. It turned out that he was a legitimate IRS employee. While such visits are not new, it’s important to know how to protect yourself from potential impersonators and scams.

Understanding Legitimate IRS Visits

In certain situations, IRS employees may visit taxpayers’ homes or businesses. These visits are regulated and employees are trained to respect taxpayer rights. Reasons for an in-person visit may include overdue taxes, unfiled tax returns, employment tax issues, or audits/criminal investigations.

Tips to Protect Yourself

  1. Ask for identification: IRS employees carry two forms of identification – IRS-issued credentials and an HSPD-12 card. You have the right to see both and verify the employee’s identity.
  2. Pay attention to mail: The IRS usually initiates contact through regular mail. Even when they make calls or visits, you should have received prior notices by mail. Unannounced home visits are usually related to urgent collection matters.
  3. Be aware of IRS limitations: The IRS will not demand specific payment methods, pressure you to pay without the opportunity to question or appeal, contact you through text or social media or threaten you with arrest or license revocation.

Reporting Impersonators or Scams

If you suspect you’ve been targeted by an impersonator, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) or call 800-366-4484. You can also report phone scams to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by using the FTC Complaint Assistant and mentioning “IRS Telephone Scam.”

Know Your Rights

If you believe a visit is legitimate, don’t panic. As a taxpayer, you have rights, including the right to be heard, raise objections, and provide additional documentation to the IRS.

Seek Professional Help

If you have outstanding tax liabilities or haven’t filed your taxes, it’s crucial not to ignore the knocks and calls. Seek assistance through the official IRS website (, taxpayer assistance centers, or consult a tax professional who can guide you through the process.

While it’s rare, the IRS may conduct in-person visits in certain circumstances. By being vigilant, verifying identification, staying informed, and knowing your rights, you can protect yourself from potential scams and ensure a legitimate interaction with the IRS. Seek help when needed and remember to report any suspicious activity to the appropriate authorities.

Is That Really The IRS Knocking On Your Door? (

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