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Types Of Tax Audits


The IRS conducts the following three types of audits:.

Correspondence audit: A correspondence audit is so simple you may not even think of it is an audit. When the IRS conducts a correspondence audit it mails you a letter questioning something on your return. You may simply need to sign the form or return an overlooked W-2 form. The notice you receive will clearly explain what you need to do. Once the IRS is satisfied that it has the correct paperwork, the matter will be closed. Two-thirds of all audits are conducted entirely by mail.

Office Audit: An office audit is a bit more involved, but is still usually restricted in scope to a specific item. You will receive a notice that explains the reason for the audit and asks you to contact an IRS office to make an appointment.

Field Audit: A field audit, which is usually conducted at your home or office, is the most intense type of audit. Field audits are usually only utilized if your return is complicated and involves business operations. During a field audit, many items on your return are usually examined.

Unless the IRS has a court order, you do not have to let the IRS into your home. If the IRS requests a home audit, try to negotiate a meeting elsewhere if you would be more comfortable. Of course, if the IRS agent says he or she needs to see your home to verify a home office deduction and you don’t let her in, the auditor will likely disallow the deduction.

In some cases, a home audit could be beneficial. For example, if one of the reasons your return is being audited is your medical deduction, the auditor may be more likely to agree with your deduction if he or she sees evidence of your illness or treatment in your home such as prescription bottles or medical equipment.

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