From 2017 to 2019, the IRS conducted nearly 2 million “correspondence” exams (or audits) and recommended approximately $12.2 billion in additional taxes, according to a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) audit. The IRS conducts a correspondence exam if it requires additional documentation from taxpayers. The TIGTA audit was initiated to assess the IRS’s effectiveness in selecting tax returns for correspondence exams. The audit found that correspondence exams accounted for nearly 80% of all IRS examinations completed but accounted for less than one-half of the recommended tax after examination. Here’s the audit report: 


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