Office Audit

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DEFINITION of 'Office Audit'

An examination of a taxpayer's records by the Internal Revenue Service to ensure the taxpayer's compliance with tax laws. In an office audit, the IRS interviews the taxpayer and inspects the taxpayer's records at an IRS office. The purpose of an office audit is to make sure the taxpayer is accurately reporting income and paying the lawful amount of tax.

BREAKING DOWN 'Office Audit'

The IRS may select a tax return for audit at random as part of routine compliance efforts; a tax return may also be selected because of suspected errors based on mismatched documents or the examination of related taxpayers' returns. Taxpayers are notified of audits by mail, and the audit itself may be conducted by mail, at an IRS office, at a taxpayer's home or business, or at an accountant's office. IRS Publication 556 provides details on the office audit process.

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