People First Initiative FAQs: Audits

These FAQs are not included in the Internal Revenue Bulletin, and therefore may not be relied upon as legal authority. This means that the information cannot be used to support a legal argument in a court case.

Q. What happens to open audits and how will the IRS reach out to taxpayers? (updated July 9, 2020)

A. To protect the health of employees and taxpayers from the COVID-19 crisis, the IRS suspended face-to-face meetings related to current field, office and correspondence examinations. The IRS postponed starting most new field, office and correspondence examinations and is beginning new cases July 15, 2020. However, it is expanding its secure electronic communications to support taxpayers and may reach out by phone in addition to mail and secure email to work current cases.

Q. What audits could the IRS begin during this time? (updated July 9, 2020)

A. The IRS continues to work taxpayer-initiated requests, which include requests made through the Taxpayer Advocate Services and taxpayer claims for refunds. The IRS will also continue to open new exams related to abusive tax schemes, like micro-captive insurance and syndicated conservation easements.

Q. Unique situations happen with audits. How will the IRS handle those?

A. Particularly for some corporate and business taxpayers, the IRS understands that there may be instances where the taxpayer's desire is to begin an examination while people and records are available and respective staffs have capacity. In those instances, when it's in the best interest of both parties and appropriate personnel are available, the IRS may initiate activities to move forward with an examination – understanding that COVID-19 developments could later reduce activities for an agreed period.


Back to FAQ Menu