5 Things to Keep in Mind if You’re Being Audited by the IRS

You have received the dreaded audit notice from the IRS. Before you enter full-blown panic, take a deep breath and read the following tips to get you through the process.  

1) Remember it’s not personal. One of your first reactions to an audit notice may very well be to take offense. Why am I being audited? My shady neighbor down the street is way more deserving! Just remember, it’s not personal. The IRS knows you only from your tax returns and could have flagged them for any number of reasons, benign or otherwise, none of which is because you are you.

2) Get prepared. Now is the time to get your documentation together, either for your representative or for yourself. Audits typically do not happen until at least two years after a filing due to the statute of limitations and workload of the IRS. So, you are going to be going back a ways for documentation, especially if you did not keep it the first time around. Usually the IRS will identify the areas of the return that they have questions about which helps to narrow your documentation search.

3) You probably shouldn’t go with your representative to the audit. If you have a representative for an audit, which is a very wise thing to have, it is best not to go with them to the actual audit meeting. This is not like a court appearance where you have to be seen. You can sign a power of attorney giving your representative full authority to represent you. This allows your representative to fully concentrate on meeting with the auditor rather than meeting with the auditor and managing your anxiety, questions, and interjections. This is particularly important if you find yourself getting upset at being audited or your representative is concerned that you may be over willing to share information. Again, this is not about you, this about your return, and a good representative can certainly handle the IRS agent’s questions on their own.

4) IRS agents are humans, too. This is not meant to garner sympathy but to point out that they have interpretations of the tax regulations and codes that are more their own opinion than that of the agency. So, it’s important to remember that just because an agent takes a position and declares it to be true, this does not mean that there is no room for other interpretations. This is why it is also very advisable to have a representative on your side because they can argue other legitimate interpretations that are more advantageous to you. They can also escalate the matter above the agent for a relatively low cost to see if they can get a better outcome.

5) If you’re facing an audit, you should consult us. Our audit defense team has the knowledge and experience to advise you regarding your audit and represent you before the IRS. We can also help break down the issues in your audit, help you understand your rights and obligations, and go to the mat for you against the IRS.

Contact our firm today to get started with helping you understand your audit and getting you through it.

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Written by Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL

Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL

Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL is a Miami-based law firm focused on providing comprehensive legal support to individuals and corporate entities caught up in tax controversies or charged with a criminal act. As experienced trial lawyers with a passion for justice, our firm provides clients with compelling advocacy, attorney availability, and creative solutions to your tax or criminal law matters.