Going Through an IRS Audit? Here Are the Top 6 Things to Keep in Mind
The IRS audit process can be stressful, time consuming and intimidating. From the moment that you receive the dreaded letter that your tax returns are under review, there is a feeling of uncertainty and dread until the process is over. Here are some things to keep in mind during an audit that will help the process go much more smoothly:
The IRS must contact you via US mail if they intend to pursue an audit.
There are three basic types of audits:
- Correspondence (most common)
- Office exam
- Field exam (most comprehensive)
Spend time reading exactly what you are being audited for.
Most audits are for a specific period of time or focus on one area—your income! Keep in mind that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will not contact you and threaten an audit by phone. There are many current scams that prey on innocent taxpayers in which someone pretending to be with the IRS calls individuals in an attempt to receive personal information.
Gather pertinent information and get organized.
Look back through all of your records and pull information that is relevant to the audit. This may include tax returns, receipts, and other written documentation related to the scope of the audit. If you are missing receipts or other documents, you are allowed to reconstruct those records. Never ignore an audit request.
Spend time reading resources about the IRS, audits, and publications related to the reason for your audit. You want to gather as much information as you can and be as knowledgeable as possible, especially if you are undergoing an office exam or field exam. It is also important to know your rights and your options for appealing a decision.
Ask for a delay if needed.
Do not be afraid to request more time if you need it to gather information.
Answer only questions that are asked.
Your audit will be focused on a specific scope, so you should be as well. Be honest in answering the questions that are asked, but do not volunteer a lot of additional information as this may expand the scope of the initial audit. You should also bring documentation that’s related to the audit (do not bring additional returns or documentation).
Seek assistance and support.
An audit can be extremely stressful and for many, it is helpful to partner with a tax firm who has experience managing communication with the IRS and managing the audit process. If you have questions about the process or feel that it would be helpful to have a professional team help you prepare, an audit is a great time to use assistance and support to minimize any potential damage. A tax firm can also be critical if you decide to appeal a ruling.
Nationwide Audit Support
The team at Success Tax Relief has more than two decades of experience working with taxpayers across the country to successfully manage IRS audits. Our audit specialists can take this burden off of your shoulders and communicate with the IRS on your behalf to answer your questions and get the matter closed. If you have received communication from the IRS about an audit, call our team today at 877-825-1179, contact us online.