Whatever You Do, Don’t Panic: How to Face an IRS Audit

Though nearly everyone fears a civil IRS audit, it’s a tax process that individuals and businesses know surprisingly little about. What you’ve seen on television and in movies is more dramatic and intense than reality. Sometimes, an IRS audit is resolved relatively easily and with little or no financial penalty. However, should you face an IRS audit, it’s important to take it seriously. Below are tips to keep in mind throughout the process. In addition, we highly recommend that you immediately consult an experienced tax attorney.
Read and Understand Your Audit Notice
In most cases, the IRS has a specific issue it’s trying to resolve during the audit process. It does not have the resources to blindly investigate any company or individual it assumes might possibly be guilty of a tax violation. Once you’ve had a moment to calm down, look carefully at your notice – what records are identified or what is the time period in question? It could be that if you cross reference your own records you might notice something as simple as a clerical error repeated numerous times across several months or years. Or, you may find that you have specific deductions in question – such as substantial charitable gifts or home office expenses. If you can properly document those deductions, then do not worry. You just have to collect the  paperwork and send it in.
Realize It Isn’t Personal
Yes, an audit can feel like a personal attack or invasion. Your bookkeeping skills and/or your integrity and ethics are being questioned. But understand, as far as the IRS is concerned it’s really a governmental accounting issue. It wants to make sure the government is getting all the money it is due, and that all the income and expense figures legally add up. If you haven’t deliberately concealed money or avoided tax payments, then generally, the only thing the IRS is concerned about is straightening out the paper trail and assessing whatever normal fees and interest would be due.
You’re Entitled to an Attorney
Let’s say you’re not 100% sure your accounting is accurate. Or maybe you had a staff accountant that you later found wasn’t exactly ethical. It may even be that you deal with sensitive information on behalf of your own business clients and don’t want to risk exposing their private details. For all of those reasons and many others like them, you can engage an experienced tax attorney to be present during your audit and act in a manner that cooperates with the IRS while also ensuring that your rights are not being infringed upon in any way.
If you’re facing an IRS audit, we can guide you through this stressful process. Please contact us today to learn more!

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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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