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It is a word that can instantly fill a U.S. taxpayer with anxiety: audit. Tax audits are one of the many things the Internal Revenue Service uses as part of its tax enforcement efforts. Being audited by the IRS can be a worrying and intimidating experience.

Lately, IRS use of audits has been going down. The IRS audit level for this year is the lowest level the agency has had in 11 years. The decrease in audit level that has occurred in recent times has coincided with drops in IRS funding and IRS staffing.

Now, while audits have been going down, audits are certainly not a tactic the IRS has abandoned. Even with the drops, this year, over a million individual audits were conducted by the agency. So, there are still plenty of taxpayers who end up facing IRS audits.

There can be many challenges and frustrations for taxpayers when it comes to dealing with the IRS in relation to an audit or other tax issue. The staffing and funding cuts the IRS has experienced may increase the potential for frustration arising in relation to interactions with the IRS. For one, it appears that these cuts may be having a significant impact on IRS responsiveness in its tax services. Reportedly, last year, over half of the phone calls made to the IRS were unanswered.

It is important for individuals facing IRS audits or other tax matters involving the IRS to not let any frustration they may be feeling lead them to unwise action when it comes to their interactions with the IRS. Missteps in dealings with the IRS can end up having some very long-lasting consequences. Skilled tax lawyers can provide taxpayers who are being audited by the IRS with guidance on avoiding such missteps.

Source: FOX2now, “IRS audits lowest in more than a decade,” Jeanne Sahadi, Nov. 3, 2015

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