The IRS has begun initiating some audits by telephone depending on the state in which you live.
The Internal Revenue Manual was recently updated to instruct Revenue Agents that the preferred method for initiated taxpayer contact for an audit is by telephone. Previously, the IRS only contacted taxpayers for purposes of audit by mail. This has caused some confusion insofar as the IRS itself and, specifically, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, have for years warned taxpayers about telephone scams, insisting that the IRS will not initiate contact by telephone and that an unexpected call from the IRS is all but certainly a scam.
Despite the recent change in IRS procedure, IRS Revenue Agents are instructed to never ask for payment or personal information over the telephone. If a taxpayer questions whether the Revenue Agent works for the IRS, the IRS will discontinue the call. In our eyes, this only seems to perpetuate the idea that those telephone calls are scams.
If you receive a telephone call from the IRS stating that you will be audited, proceed with caution, especially if they ask for personal information or payment, or threaten your immediate arrest. In that event, the telephone call is certainly a scam.
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