President Biden and congressional Democrats increased the size and intrusiveness of the IRS but provided no new protections for taxpayers.

As thoroughly documented in Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) audits, the IRS has an appalling disregard for taxpayer privacy and due process when conducting field work. Recently this field work appears to involve an uptick in unannounced, in-person special agent visits.

IRS agents are choosing not to inform local police departments of their activities.

Using public sources, below is a continuously updated list of in-person visits.

June 14, 2023 in Great Falls, Montana: A large quantity of agents on an unannounced visit entered a local gun shop, shut it down for two hours and removed forms containing personal information of customers. Local law enforcement was not given advance notice.

As noted in a June 16, 2023 letter to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel from Rep. Matt Rosendale (R – Mont.):

I learned that the IRS confiscated all the 4473 forms from the store. This means that the sensitive personal information of any customer ever to purchase a firearm at Highwood Creek Outfitters is now in the hands of the IRS. These background check forms include no financial information, and there is no discernable reason why the IRS would need these forms. The IRS committed an egregious breach of privacy for Montana’s gun owners, and I am outraged that the agents involved showed no regard for federal law. Although there are still some murky details regarding the events at Highwood Creek Outfitters. There is no circumstance in which 4473’s would be necessary in an investigation spearheaded by the IRS.

As reported by KSEN-AM 1150, the Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen was not pleased local law enforcement was not notified by the IRS:

“The sheriff is the highest elected law enforcement official you have in your county, I mean that’s just the bottom line. The sheriffs need to be looped in on these things and then they need to know what’s going on.”

April 25, 2023 in Marion, Ohio: An IRS agent on an unannounced visit used a fake name and gained entry to a woman’s home; claimed she owed taxes (she didn’t); and threatened to put a lien on her house. When the woman got her lawyer on the phone, the lawyer asked the agent to leave. The agent replied: “I am an IRS agent, I can be at and go into anyone’s house at any time I want to be.”

The agent’s supervisor later admitted, “things never should have gotten this far.

The field agent had the audacity to file “an Inspector General complaint against a police officer examining that matter” of his residential home entry.

It does not appear the IRS gave advance notice to local law enforcement.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Haus finally left, but not before threatening to freeze the taxpayer’s assets and put a lien on her house if she didn’t satisfy the balance in a week. Fearing a scam, she called the local police, who ran Mr. Haus’s license plate to verify his identity.

When an officer called Mr. Haus, Mr. Haus identified himself as an IRS agent but said Haus wasn’t his real name. He had used an alias. The officer, also suspecting a scam, warned that if he returned to the taxpayer’s home he’d be arrested. Mr. Haus then filed a complaint against the Marion police officer with the Treasury Department inspector general.

The IRS eventually admitted the woman owed nothing and the case was closed.

Supporting materials:

Letter from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel (June 16, 2023)

Wall Street Journal editorial (June 16, 2023)

ATR blog post (June 19, 2023)

April 25, 2023 in Tampa, Florida: The IRS conducted an unannounced visit to a Tampa business. The visit was later attributed to a “clerical error” which the business co-founder said “does not induce confidence in the system.”

As reported by Bloomberg:

Jeffrey Gundlach said an unannounced visit by an Internal Revenue Service agent at his Tampa, Florida office turned out to be a clerical error.

The mistake “does not induce confidence in the system,” the DoubleLine Capital co-founder said in a tweet Wednesday evening, his latest complaint aimed at tax authorities.

The agent had showed up for “no legitimate reason,” Gundlach had said late Tuesday, without providing further details.

Bloomberg reached out to the IRS for comment. The IRS said they couldn’t comment on specific taxpayers.

Supporting materials:

Bloomberg News article (April 25, 2023)

Jeffrey Gundlach tweet 1 (April 25, 2023)

Jeffrey Gundlach tweet 2 (April 26, 2023)

ATR blog post (April 27, 2023)

March 9, 2023 in New Jersey: An IRS agent conducted an “unannounced and unprompted” visit to the home of investigative journalist Matt Taibbi on the very same day he testified to congress about government abuse.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan pressed the IRS for documents about the visit. The IRS documents indicated the IRS opened a file against Taibbi on Christmas Eve — Saturday Dec. 24, 2022.

The IRS documents provided to Jordan also indicated the agency dug around to see if Taibbi had a concealed carry permit or a hunting license.

Supporting materials:

Letter from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen (March 27, 2023)

Letter from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel (May 24, 2023)

ATR blog post 1 (March 28, 2023)

ATR blog post 2 (March 30, 2023)

ATR blog post 3 (April 12, 2023)

ATR blog post 4 (May 24, 2023)

February 2023 in Floyd County, Georgia: An IRS agent visited local homes without notifying local police, causing confusion.

Let’s look at two news articles that show the confusion that can result when the IRS fails to provide police notification.

As reported by WSB on Feb. 11, 2023:

Police are hoping someone can identify a man who they say is impersonating an IRS agent who has been targeting families in North Georgia.

Police in Floyd County sent pictures of the bearded suspect.

Someone also snapped a photo of the suspect’s car, which appears to have California tags.

If you know who the man is, investigators said to call 911.

After an investigation by police, WSB reported on Feb. 21:

The police department received several complaints and video of the man who identified himself as an IRS worker. Officers visited the man’s office in Smyrna and confirmed his employment.

He told them that other IRS workers will be in the area as it hires more employees.

The IRS employee was carrying two forms of ID from the Department of Treasury. Police said you should always ask for these government identification if anyone asks about your finances.

Police said they have asked the IRS to contact them before making any house calls to avoid confusion in the future.