ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Many employers try to offer incentives, sometimes through their health plan, for employees to exercise and take other actions to maintain proper health. My son-in-law’s health plan offers reimbursement of health club fees provided the employee visits the club at least 60 times during the year.
In recent technical advice to its agents, the IRS has developed a new reason to exercise. Specifically, IRS agents that need to use some form of public transportation to visit a taxpayer may need to walk the final leg of the trip.
Here’s the interesting problem. Tax return information is confidential. Tax return information can include the taxpayer’s identity as well as whether the taxpayer might be under examination by the IRS.
When an IRS agent visits a taxpayer, it could be to conduct an examination, to collect taxes, or to pursue a criminal investigation of the taxpayer. Knowledge that an IRS agent is visiting a taxpayer could then be “tax return information.”