The Internal Revenue Service has significantly stepped up their audit frequency and has modified the manner in which they contact taxpayers to include cold calls. The modification includes direct telephone contact from the IRS to inform taxpayers of their selection for audit prior to receipt of written notification. In the past, notification was sent to the taxpayer in writing and the taxpayer was subsequently requested to contact the IRS to arrange an appointment.
As part of this telephone conversation, the IRS will ask questions concerning you and your tax return. Their intention will be to put a positive spin on the examination process. It is our opinion this is not the friendly conversation the IRS employee would have you believe. It is our understanding the conversation may be recorded, and your answers may result in adverse tax consequences.
Instead of simply ending the call, we recommend you politely decline to discuss your tax information over the phone. As you have no way of verifying the identity of the person with whom you are speaking, you can explain you do not wish to risk becoming a victim of identity theft or any other type of fraud. It is our recommendation you ask them to send any information in writing.
On a similar topic, we are aware of a scam in which the intended victim receives an e-mail from the “IRS” informing them of an issue with a return filed with the California Franchise Tax Board. This is simple to identify as the IRS does not send unsolicited e-mails to taxpayers. If you receive such a communication, do not open any of the attachments and delete the e-mail after forwarding it to the IRS. The IRS requests that you send this type of e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.