The IRS Tax Audit Survival Guide
A pending tax audit from the IRS is stressful and can evoke extreme anxiety for most taxpayers. In fact, there are few things that cause more dread. So if you find yourself trying to prepare for an IRS audit, read on. Fortunately for most, audits are actually fairly infrequent, affecting only approximately 1% of taxpayers who make between $25,000-$200,000 each year. But if you happen to in the select few, you want to be prepared and ready. We have pulled together some helpful strategies for making it through a tax audit.
Be Responsive to the IRS
The worst thing that you can do when you receive an audit notice is to ignore it. Responsiveness is one of the most important things that you can do to minimize additional problems. Most often, you will receive a written letter with instructions and a deadline for your response. Make sure that you meet this deadline so that you do not risk further investigation.
Gather Your Back-up Documentation
You will want to have all related documentation available for your audit. If your audit is a correspondence audit, you will want to provide copies of this documentation (especially any back up you have for your deductions and income) via mail. If you are hosting the audit (field audit), then you should be prepared to show documentation related to the items in question.
Be Polite, Respectful and Professional
As with most things, calm, respectful, professional communication will always serve you better than being angry and bitter. You want to be clear, open, polite and responsive to the IRS representative and convey that you are cooperative and not hiding anything.
Be Direct and Limit Your Responses
You should make sure that you understand what the IRS is looking for before you respond to their inquiry or audit request. Answer the questions you are asking completely and thoroughly, but do not offer additional information that may complicate your case. Be brief and try to provide the exact information that is requested.
Get Help If You Need It
Audit preparation requires a significant amount of time, effort and strategy. In many cases, it is advisable to enlist the help of a tax professional to be sure that you adequately prepare and represent your interests well. In addition, if the IRS mentions tax evasion or tax fraud, you will want to get support and assistance from a tax professional and/or tax attorney.
An audit does not automatically mean financial ruin; it is possible to even come out of an audit with a refund. But, if at the end of your audit process, you are not satisfied with the outcome, you have to ask the right questions, get clarity and appeal the outcome.
Contact Success Tax Relief for Help with a Tax Audit
An IRS audit should be taken seriously, but there are many things that you can do to prepare and come out on the other side intact. As mentioned above, partnering with a tax professional can help you prepare well, develop an effective strategy for audit management and save yourself significant time and stress. Success Tax Relief has helped thousands of taxpayers through the audit process and is available today to help you. Contact us today to get started.