10 Tips to Help You Face an IRS Audit
It is one of the most dreaded pieces of mail that you can receive…an audit notice from the IRS. While your chance of being audited is less than 1%, it does happen, and you will want to handle it well to ensure the best possible outcome.
Here are 10 general tips to help you face an IRS audit:
1. Do Not Panic: Very often, an IRS audit is not as painful as you expect it to be, especially if you are careful and responsive.
2. Retrieve Your Documentation: You will want to pull any supporting documentation related to the audit including all information on your income and deductions.
3. Thoroughly Review the Written Notice from the IRS: Before you panic, review the information sent to you from the IRS and make sure that you are clear about what information they are requesting or what portion of your return they are questioning.
4. Could It Be an Error? It is always possible that the IRS has incorrect personal information or their request was made in error.
5. Prepare a Response: The worst thing that you can do if you receive an audit notification is to ignore it. This will only make matters worse.
6. Your Goal: Your goal during the audit process is to prove to the IRS that you have disclosed all of your income and that your deductions and credits are legitimate.
7. Delay When Possible: If you have the opportunity to delay the audit (with the IRS’s approval) there is generally no reason not to do this. It gives you more time to consider your options and how you will manage the situation.
8. Understand Your Rights: You can request the representation of a tax professional, and you can also ask to speak with an audit manager if you have questions or concerns with the process. Do not be afraid to advocate on your own behalf.
9. You Can Appeal: If you disagree or do not understand the results of the audit, you can always file an appeal. You can sometimes even reach a compromise on the outcome.
10. Seek Representation: One of the most important decisions that you can make in the audit process is whether you should hire a tax professional to represent you and your best interests. A reputable tax professional can actually take over communication with the IRS on your behalf, taking away significant stress and worry, and often achieving a more positive result.
If you are facing an IRS audit, all is not lost. Keeping your composure and formulating a clear and concise response can go a long way. Communication and responsiveness is key to managing this sometimes difficult process.
Success Tax Relief is a full service tax firm that has partnered with thousands of individuals facing IRS audits. We specialize in communicating clearly and effectively with the IRS on our clients’ behalf and can help make sense of what the IRS is requesting and how best to respond. Contact us today for a free consultation and take the worry out of the entire audit process!