IRS Correspondence Examination

IRS Definition

A correspondence audit is relatively limited in scope. An agent usually conducts the audit using letters and phone calls to work with the officers or a representative of the organization. A correspondence audit can expand and become an in-person (field) audit, particularly if the issues grow more complex or the organization does not respond.

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A mail audit, also known as a correspondence examination, is conducted entirely by mail. This is the most common type of IRS audit and typically focuses on one or two simple issues. Mail audits are usually less intrusive than field or office audits.

Your first step in a mail audit is to gather documentation and determine if there are any discrepancies between your records and the information reported on the tax return. When responding to a mail audit, send sufficient documentation to support each item that the IRS is examining. At the end of the audit you will receive an audit report that details the proposed changes to the tax return. You have the right to dispute the changes if you disagree with them.

Learn how to handle an IRS examination of your individual tax return or an IRS examination of your business tax return.

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