Although the IRS performs over a million audits per year, not every one results in an in person review. In fact, the most popular type of audit is done by mail. The Roni Deutch Tax Center - Tax Help Blog posted a new entry explaining the 3 main types of audits. Check out a section of the article below, or click here for the full text.
The letter audit is by far the most common type of IRS audit. Typically, letter audits are a simple request for more information, or a list of possible math errors. Some times the audit is just to inform you of a correction that has been made to your return, which can result in either a tax bill, or a larger refund. The IRS may ask you to supply them with a few documents or receipts, and you will be required to respond.
The IRS may take a while to process your response, and it could take weeks or even months before you hear back regarding the audit. With a letter audit you are not required to meet face to face with any IRS representatives. All correspondences can be completed through the mail.
The second, and more intimidating type of IRS audit is the office review. You will be asked to meet with an IRS auditor at a place in close proximity to your home address. The representative will work with you to schedule a review at a time that is convenient for you, and you can feel free to ask to reschedule any appointment that might not fit into your schedule.