Finding out the IRS plans to audit you may have you feeling anxious and ill at ease, but do your best not to panic. Most California residents who wind up being the subjects of audits participate in the audits completely by mail. Only a small percentage of taxpayers who undergo audits wind up having IRS agents come to their homes and businesses to conduct in-depth investigations.
Per U.S. News & World Report, the IRS may decide to audit you completely at random. However, there are also certain things you might have done when filing your taxes that raise the chances of you becoming the subject of an audit. Neglecting to report all of your income is one such error. Taking too many or incorrect deductions is another. If the IRS does audit you, expect to undergo one of three audit types.
As the name indicates, mail audits typically take place entirely through the mail. During this type of audit, expect to have to furnish more documentation about your finances, earnings and why you filed your taxes the way you did.
In an office audit, you have to meet with an IRS agent at an office somewhere near your home. This type of audit may prove necessary if the IRS needs a more thorough explanation of what you did than you are able to provide via mail.
Field audits are rare and may involve IRS agents taking a deep dive into your financial affairs. This type of audit may involve visits to your home and place of employment.
The IRS notifies you via mail if it plans to audit you. If you receive phone calls stating as much, know that this is a scam.