CNN  — 

High-income taxpayers who have failed to file one or more tax returns in the past may be getting a knock on their door from the Internal Revenue Service.

After increasing its enforcement ranks, the IRS announced it will be conducting more face-to-face visits with high-income taxpayers as part of an effort to ensure compliance and fairness across all income groups. The effort will focus on people with income of more than $100,000 a year who did not file their returns for 2018 or prior.

The IRS said the effort is intended as a reminder that everyone must meet their tax obligations and to bring tax cheats into compliance.

The agency said its focus will be on people who have not filed at all over taxpayers who tried to file and pay in a timely way or who have already entered into agreements to pay their taxes.

“The IRS is committed to fairness in the tax system, and we want to remind people across all income categories that they need to file their taxes,” said Paul Mamo, the director of collection operations in the small business and self employed division in a statement. “We want to ensure taxpayers know their options to get right with their taxes and avoid bigger issues later.”

How to pay, if you did not file

If you think this might include you, the IRS suggests contacting a tax adviser rather than waiting for the knock on your door.

“It is always worthwhile to take advantage of various methods of getting back into filing or payment compliance before being personally contacted by the IRS,” said Mamo.

In a best case scenario, an IRS revenue officer shows up, shares information on unmet tax obligations and works with you to resolve the issue.

For those who can’t pay overdue tax bills immediately, payment plans are available. This is also the time when you can find out if you’re eligible for a compromise, settling your tax debt for less than the full amount, or to get a temporary delay on collection until your financial situation improves.

Those who refuse to pay may face a range of consequences, including civil enforcement actions or criminal cases.

“Not filing because you don’t believe you can pay at the time of filing makes the problem worse, as interest and penalties mount over time,” said Hank Kea, director of field collection operations, small business and self employed division in a statement.

This year taxpayers need to file their 2019 tax return by the April 15 deadline. Taxpayers can request a six-month filing extension, but that does not extend the April deadline for paying any taxes owed.

Know a legit IRS visit from a scam

While an IRS visit may not be welcome, it is important to know how to distinguish an actual visit from a scam.

Imposter scams, in which a fraudster pretends to be someone you should trust like a representative of a government agency, were the most common type of fraud last year, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Last year people reported losing $667 million to imposters.

The IRS will contact you by mail first and if an issue is unresolved, an agent will show up unannounced. Phone calls or emails are not the agency’s standard mode of outreach. Officers will provide two forms of official credentials that include both a serial number and a photo.

A legitimate officer will not make threats or demand an unusual form of payment like gift cards, but they will explain the liability to the taxpayer, along with the consequences of not complying with the law. They will request payment, but will provide a range of options, including using a debit or credit card, electronic funds withdrawal, same-day wire, check, money order or cash. Taxpayers paying by check will be asked to write it to the US Treasury.

If you have questions about identifying legitimate IRS representatives or want to report scams, more information can be found at IRS.gov.