How to Guarantee an Audit

10/22/2014

If you look up "guaranteed audit" in the dictionary, you won't find it, because it's two separate words. Still, there is one way you guarantee yourself an audit. And some of your most prominent fellow citizens are working night and day to put themselves in that position. So, how do you get there? Easy . . . just get yourself elected President of the United States!
 

Take a look at Section 4.2.1.11 of the Internal Revenue Manual and you'll see it in black and white: "The individual income tax returns for the President and Vice-President are subject to mandatory examinations." Yikes! As if it's not bad enough having everyone from the New York Times to the National Enquirer all up in your business, now you'd have to contend with the IRS, too!
 

Presidential audits are no ordinary examinations. The Internal Revenue Manual spells out the kind of excruciatingly detailed rules that you might imagine for the "First 1040":
 

  • "The returns should be kept in an orange folder at all times."
  • "The returns should not be exposed to viewing by other employees." (Of course, Presidents routinely release their returns to the public, so employees without "Double Secret Presidential Clearance" will just have to find them online.)
  • "The returns should be locked in a secure drawer or cabinet when the examiner is away from the work area."

The kid-glove treatment doesn't stop when the audit ends, either. Presidential returns "must be closed directly to the Employee Audit Reviewer in Baltimore Technical Services. The 'Other' box in the 'Forward to Technical Services' section of Form 3198 must be checked and the examiner should notate 'President (or Vice-President) Examination; Forward to Baltimore Technical Services.'" On the bright side, if you do find yourself having to put up with that mandatory annual audit, you'll get some nice perks out of it: a fleet of limousines, a comfy jumbojet for avoiding the TSA's usual "perp walk," and a roomy white house on 18 acres in the middle of Washington, DC. You can even walk to work! Still, there might be a nagging feeling in the back of your mind, knowing the IRS has isolated your return like an Ebola specimen — in its own special orange folder, under lock and key.