If you've been following the news regarding the increase in funding the IRS will be receiving due to new legislation chances are you've also seen news about the "new armed IRS auditors." In case you haven't here's a brief summary of what has taxpayers questioning if the IRS is beefing up their audit efforts with armed accountants.
A job listing from the IRS has been circulating recently which includes the requirement to be able to legally carry a firearm and be willing to use deadly force if necessary... and this has caused a lot of people to conclude that the IRS is hiring armed auditors to hunt down upaid taxes.
But this is not really the case. While we deal with the IRS regularly we have never come across an armed auditor and don't foresee that happening in the future. The listings that have been circulating are actually for the IRS Criminal Investigation Unit. And this unit is actually a very interesting branch of the IRS. They exclusively investigate the financial side of crime.
Al Capone was actually brought down by an IRS agent. The US federal government had been waiting to gather enough evidence on Al Capone to obtain a search warrant. The IRS on the other hand had everything they needed to bring him in on tax evasion. And the evidence the IRS obtained during the investigation allowed the US government to obtain enough evidence to pursue search warrants.
More recently the IRS followed the bitcoin transactions that were flowing into and out of the largest website with sexual exploitation of children which lead to the arrest of at least 337 abusers of children and those who purchased content. It also led to the rescue of at least 23 children who were being abused. You can read more about this case here.
So while the IRS is hiring armed agents to be part of their criminal investigation unit they are not hiring armed agents to audit regular taxpayers. If you are undergoing an audit or are chosen for an audit down the road you don't need to worry about the IRS using armed agents to come knock on your door.