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IRS Audit Representation

Have you received notification of an IRS Audit? It can be scary but don't panic, as they are often quite routine.

What to do if you get a notice from the IRS

Most audits are just a letter asking for additional information about your tax return. Usually, the IRS is auditing a particular item on a return. It is important to provide them with all information about that item, but nothing more. In some cases, you may receive a request to meet with an agent to discuss your return. There is no need to panic, but there are certain steps you should take:

  • Don't ignore the letter. Ignoring the IRS is the worst thing you can do. The situation will not go away. While you should respond as soon as possible, you can request more time to gather paperwork.

  • Decide whether you need representation. Most of the time the letter you get in the mail is just a simple request for information to support an amount on your tax return. If you are comfortable proceeding, just send the requested paperwork to the IRS as instructed. If you do not understand the notice, are not comfortable proceeding, or have been called to meet with an agent, you should seek representation from a CPA or lawyer.

  • Tell them what you know. Most audits are not random. Rather, the IRS is looking for some specific information related to your return. The audit request will spell out the information they would like to review. Send or bring all the information you have on the item being audited and answer all questions truthfully to the best of your ability. Do not volunteer information that is not specifically requested and when answering questions do not speculate, only tell what you truthfully know.

  • Negotiate and Appeal. Once the audit is done, the agent will assess any taxes and penalties you owe. Assessments can always be appealed.

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