Taxpayers must keep some important factors in mind when the IRS may initiate direct contact with a them. The IRS provides many different payment options to help taxpayers meet their obligations through which they can avoid late filing and interest penalties by submitting their tax return on time by April 18.

Most IRS contacts with taxpayers are through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service. However, there are limited circumstances when the IRS will come to a home or business as part of a collection investigation, an audit or an ongoing criminal investigation.

IRS employees that may make face-to-face visits outside an IRS office include revenue officers, revenue agents and IRS Criminal Investigation special agents. IRS employees are trained to respect taxpayer rights, and there are some important facts to keep in mind about the different types of visits.

If a taxpayer doesn’t have a previously known tax issue and suspects someone is trying to impersonate an IRS employee, there are a variety of options to report phone, email and other impersonation scams:

  • Report impersonation scams to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration on the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting webpage. Taxpayers can also call 800-366-4484 to report impersonation scams.
  • Protect the community by reporting fraud, scams and bad business practices. Report phone scams to the Federal Trade Commission at Report Fraud FTC.
  • Report an unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS or an IRS-related system like the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System to the IRS at
  • For a comprehensive listing of recent tax scams, consumer alerts and how to report them, visit Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts.