(a) Communication with the taxpayer
Without the prior consent of the taxpayer given directly to the Secretary or the express permission of a court of competent jurisdiction, the Secretary may not communicate with a taxpayer in connection with the collection of any unpaid tax—
(1) at any unusual time or place or a time or place known or which should be known to be inconvenient to the taxpayer;
(2) if the Secretary knows the taxpayer is represented by any person authorized to practice before the Internal Revenue Service with respect to such unpaid tax and has knowledge of, or can readily ascertain, such person’s name and address, unless such person fails to respond within a reasonable period of time to a communication from the Secretary or unless such person consents to direct communication with the taxpayer; or
(3) at the taxpayer’s place of employment if the Secretary knows or has reason to know that the taxpayer’s employer prohibits the taxpayer from receiving such communication.
In the absence of knowledge of circumstances to the contrary, the Secretary shall assume that the convenient time for communicating with a taxpayer is after 8 a.m. and before 9 p.m., local time at the taxpayer’s location.
(b) Prohibition of harassment and abuse
The Secretary may not engage in any conduct the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse any person in connection with the collection of any unpaid tax. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this subsection:
(1) The use or threat of use of violence or other criminal means to harm the physical person, reputation, or property of any person.
(2) The use of obscene or profane language or language the natural consequence of which is to abuse the hearer or reader.
(3) Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the called number.
(4) Except as provided under rules similar to the rules in section 804 of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (15 U.S.C. 1692b), the placement of telephone calls without meaningful disclosure of the caller’s identity.
(c) Civil action for violations of section
For civil action for violations of this section, see section 7433.
(Added Pub. L. 105–206, title III, §3466(a), July 22, 1998, 112 Stat. 768.)
A prior section 6304, act Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 776, related to a cross reference to sections 4504 and 4601 for collection under the Tariff Act of 1930, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 94–455, title XIX, §1906(a)(18), (d)(1), Oct. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1825, 1835, effective on first day of first month which begins more than 90 days after Oct. 4, 1976.
Pub. L. 105–206, title III, §3466(c), July 22, 1998, 112 Stat. 769, provided that: “The amendments made by this section [enacting this section] shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act [July 22, 1998].”