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Posted: 6/21/2002 8:14:10 PM EDT
Posted on Fri, Jun. 21, 2002 [size=4]IRS returns to random tax audits[/size=4] [b]Practice to help kill the 'growing wave of scams' will result in about 32,000 'face-to-face' meetings[/b] By Tom Herman WALL STREET JOURNAL The Internal Revenue Service is bringing back its controversial practice of randomly auditing individual tax returns in an effort to crack down on what it says is a growing wave of tax scams. The move is an about-face for the IRS, which did its last batch of random audits in 1988 and was slapped down by Congress when it tried to resume them in the mid-1990s. Legislators pilloried the agency for its aggressive tactics in conducting such audits, in which thousands of Americans were forced to defend every line in their tax returns. Now the IRS is taking advantage of the post-Enron environment to flex its muscles again. Following the collapse of Enron Corp. late last year, and a slew of subsequent corporate scandals, the mood in Congress has been to lean harder on companies and individuals who scheme to avoid paying taxes. The IRS says it needs the random audits to collect fresh information about tax cheating -- and thus improve the process by which it determines who gets audited each year. It promises its audits will be less invasive this time around. Still, an estimated 2,000 of those picked this time will get intensive line-by-line audits. That means taxpayers probably will have to hire a tax lawyer or certified public accountant to represent them -- even if they have done nothing wrong. Senior IRS officials said the agency plans to conduct about 50,000 random audits related to the 2001 tax year. [url]www.bayarea.com/mld/cctimes/news/nation/3517093.htm[/url] -------------------- I knew something good would come of the Enron scandal. [:(!]
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