IRS Announces Huge Change

( – Agents of the Internal Revenue Service will no longer be able to make unannounced visits to taxpayers’ homes, according to a significant policy change announced by the agency on Monday.

The new policy, which will have few exceptions, was brought about by a desire to protect IRS agents from “potentially irate taxpayers,” Newsmax notes.

“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,” IRS head Danny Werfel said in the agency’s statement.

“Changing this long-standing procedure will increase confidence in our tax administration work and improve overall safety for taxpayers and IRS employees,” he added.

The decades-old practice of IRS officials going to households and businesses to collect taxes or tax returns will now be replaced by scheduling meetings through mailed letters.

The tax authority clarified that home visits would remain in place for “unique” cases. It noted that agents were typically dispatched to homes or firms with over $100,000 in outstanding tax bills.

As a result of the policy shift, IRS home visits will occur in several hundred cases annually, down from tens of thousands per year, according to The Washington Post.

The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) celebrated the IRS change.

“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,” reacted NTEU National President Tony Reardon.

The IRS home visits came to public attention after independent journalist Matt Taibbi was seemingly targeted on the same day he testified before the GOP-led House Judiciary Committee.

In his hearing, he spoke about his Twitter Files exposing US government agencies’ censorship collaboration with Twitter and other social media. The home visit led Judiciary Committee chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) to demand an explanation from the IRS and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

“If the resulting hubbub had any part in today’s news, I’m glad and grateful to Chairman Jordan and his staff,” Taibbi told The National Review.

“[M]y impression is there may be a broader pattern of using the IRS to investigate a range of politically irritating people, one that probably still needs looking into,” Taibbi added.