The IRS has issued directions for its taxpayer facing employees to hold video meetings with taxpayers and their representatives. Going forward, the IRS will continue to offer video meetings via secure IRS approved platforms to taxpayers and their representatives. Further, frontline employees, with their manager’s approval, may meet virtually with taxpayers and their representatives. Taxpayers or their representatives may request to meet virtually with frontline employees and their managers.
Additionally, the IRS stated that while determination cases don’t generally involve in person meetings, examinations frequently benefit from in-person meetings. Before approving a video meeting, employees and their managers must decide whether a video meeting rather than an in-person meeting is the most appropriate means of meeting with the taxpayer and their representatives. Examples of when a video meeting may be valuable to working the case include:
- performing an initial meeting to discuss the case followed by an in-person visit;
- clarifying Information Document Requests (IDRs) or responses received;
- conducting follow-up meetings after in-person visits to clarify facts not requiring another in-person visit;
- working the case via correspondence where a video meeting would help in resolving certain issues; and
- holding a closing conference with the taxpayer or their representative.
Finally, the IRS also issued video conferencing protocol reminders to its employees. These included reminders related to privacy considerations, authentication, internal communications and instructions regarding various IRS approved video conferencing platforms. IRS TE/GE Memorandum: Video Meetings with Taxpayers and Representatives (TEGE-04-0522-0023).