The IRS previously only contacted taxpayers for purposes of an audit by mail and not by telephone. The IRS subsequently stated that it has begun initiating some audits by telephone which has caused much confusion. The IRS itself has for years warned taxpayers about telephone scams, insisting that the IRS will not initiate contact by telephone and that an unexpected phone call from the IRS is all but certainly a scam.
Because of this confusion, the IRS recently backpedaled from their prior position, now stating that it will only begin notifying taxpayers of an audit by letter. The IRS has since codified this direction in an IRS memo formally directing its employees to only initiate contact with taxpayers for purposes of an audit exclusively by mail and no longer by telephone.
The IRS stated that it is only contacting taxpayers by mail in response to the threat of phone scams, phishing and identity theft.
The IRS rarely moves this fast. We agree that the IRS should only contact the taxpayers selected for audit by mail, at least at first. If you have a problem with the IRS, contact us, we can help.