SD Attorney: IRS Hiring Agents For More Audits

A local attorney said the Internal Revenue Service is hiring more agents to audit citizens who do not have the ability to pay their taxes during the worst economic climate since the Great Depression.

One San Diego man told 10News he is fearful of agents from the IRS after he said he felt threatened during an audit.

The man, who declined to be identified, said he inherited a business and was audited in 2009. He told 10News agents found some mistakes made in the tax filings.

"I felt like I was being bullied, and basically they told me on the phone if I didn’t like it they will just come in and shut me down and sell all my property off," the man said.

He told 10News agents informed him of $50,000 of unpaid payroll taxes, and with interest and fees he would have to pay $250,000 to clear the debt.

San Diego attorney Ronson Shamoun, who specializes in helping people who have income tax problems, said the IRS is hiring new agents to specifically crack down on people who don’t have the ability to pay their taxes.

"A lot of people are delinquent on all of their taxes. Whether it's sales tax, payroll tax, income tax, they are just behind because their business is down, they are not paying their bills and that just sparks up all these agents to come after you," said Shamoun.

A representative for the IRS confirmed that fewer people are paying their taxes because of the economy. The IRS is hiring additional agents, but the representative said that doesn't mean more people are getting audited.

Shamoun said if citizens can't pay, they should not try to avoid it.

For now things are back to normal for the man who was audited. He has already paid what he owed.