The fear of an audit weighs on many taxpayers’ minds each year, but the actual process may not be as nerve-racking as some may think. In fact, new data shows the majority of audits are conducted by mail, rather than in person.

Approximately 78 percent of the 1.6 million Americans were who audited in 2010 completed the process by mail, a 13 rise from 2009, CNN Money reports. Additionally, the trend represents a 93 percent increase in audits by mail from 2003, the news source adds.

"When people think of audits, they think of being in an office and going to war with someone from the IRS," Georgetown University accounting and business law professor Thomas Cooke told CNN. "Years ago you could almost guarantee you would have to go in and see someone to do it, but this isn't the case anymore."

Individuals who receive an audit notice are advised to contact a tax preparer, who may speak with the IRS on behalf of the person. Oftentimes, undergoing an audit through a tax professional is preferable, as well-seasoned preparers are equipped to examine the consumer’s taxes and provide the IRS with the information they’re looking for more quickly.

Every effort has been taken to provide the most accurate and honest analysis of the tax information provided in this blog. Please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information provided. This blog is not intended to be a substitute for seeking professional tax advice based on your individual needs.