Don’t Fight the IRS Alone: The Dangers of Handling an Audit Yourself

Anyone who gets a notice of a pending IRS Audit should not try to handle the audit on his/her own. While it is tempting to just Google how to handle an audit or try to figure it out as you go, there are simply too many dangers to facing an audit without employing an experienced tax lawyer, even if you think you’ve done nothing wrong. Lawyers understand what information must be disclosed and what information is protected. Attorneys understand the legal arguments that need to be made and the practical strategies necessary to respond to IRS revenue agents.
Reasons to Employ an IRS tax lawyer
Some of the key ways an experienced tax attorney can help are:

  • Confidentiality. A consultation with a IRS tax lawyer, if properly managed, creates an attorney-client privilege. This privilege means your communications with the lawyer are protected. The government cannot force the attorney to testify in court. The privilege generally does not extend to a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or a tax preparer. This is especially important if the audit escalates into criminal charges.
  • Understanding the laws. The Internal Revenue Code is extremely complex. In addition to the laws and regular changes by Congress to the Code, the IRS constantly creates and updates the related Regulations. Taxpayers who fail to comply with any part of the tax laws and regulation may be subject to substantial payments and penalties. A skilled tax lawyer understands the laws and regulations including many exceptions and defenses. For example, a good tax attorney may be able to use other provisions of the tax code and regulations for your benefit – by asserting a right to a deduction, an exemption, a trade-off, an argument that some benefit is not taxable income, or some other tax advantage, loophole, or exception.
  • Understanding the deadlines. There are important deadlines for tax filings, protests and petitions that your lawyer understands. Failure to comply with these deadlines may result in your losing the opportunity to contest the audit assessment.
  • Settlements. There are programs the IRS offers taxpayers to resolve their liabilities, create an installment plan, or even reduce the amount that is owed. Lawyers who regularly handle tax audits know what these programs are and how they can benefit you. For example, a taxpayer may be eligible for an Offer in Compromise if:
    • The amount owed is reasonably in dispute
    • The taxpayer cannot reasonably be expected to pay the full amount
    • The payment would create an economic hardship
  • Practical advice. Many taxpayers do not appreciate that they may not have to respond to the IRS audit agent’s requests. Careful preparation by a professional tax lawyer can mean the difference between giving the right answer or the wrong answer. Not every tax return the taxpayer ever filed must be reviewed – just the one(s) that are being audited. There are pros and cons to consenting to have an IRS visit your home or business that an experienced IRS tax lawyer will know.

Practical advice also means cutting through red tape so your claim is presented in the right place and communications are made to the right people within the IRS.   A tax lawyer can help you reconstruct your tax records if you don’t have accurate receipts or other information.

  • Criminal defenses. Experienced tax attorneys understand when taxpayers may be the subject of a criminal investigation or criminal charges and can help taxpayers avoid criminal charges. They can also protect your right to freedom from self-incrimination and can represent you if criminal charges do occur. Criminal charges can include tax fraud and tax evasion.

Get help now if the IRS is auditing your taxes
The legal team at Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL, understands the stress and anxiety taxpayers undergo when they get a notice of a tax audit. Our attorneys understand the IRS audit and litigation process. We represent clients at the audits, in tax court, and in state and federal courts. Often, we are able to work out a beneficial resolution of your tax issues. Our Miami, Florida lawyers are aggressive advocates for our clients. For help with any tax audits or charges, call us today at (305) 374-5544.

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Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL

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.

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