California IRS Offices Redirect Examiners to Customer Service

Some people have all the luck! The odds that a taxpayer in California will not be audited by the IRS just got greater.

A sign of the times or a fad? No one knows for certain. In light of tighter budgets and an agency refocus, the California office of the IRS just announced it is redirecting its examiners in the state to man busy customer service telephone lines during tax season rather than having examiners work on taxpayer audits.

The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse from Syracuse University has tracked the impact of this reduction, and reports that the number of audits performed by examiners fell in the last fiscal year to .46 percent or roughly one audit for every 200 taxpayers.

The redirection of examiners now answering phones is part of IRS Commissioner Charles O. Rossotti's effort to place more of a focus on taxpayer education and customer service. The new plan will not affect the number of computer audits generated by incorrect information submitted by taxpayers, such as wrong social security numbers.

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