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What Should I Do If I Receive An Audit From The IRS

IRS audits are among the most feared documents to receive in the mail. They mean that the IRS doesn't trust your tax return and that it needs to investigate your home, office, business or other topics that you may have included in your tax return. For instance, if you took deductions that seem fishy, if your numbers don't seem to add up, or if there are any other irregularities in your return, the IRS may decide to audit you. You may also be audited due to mistakes made by the IRS bureaucracy.

Regardless of the reasons for your IRS audit, the best thing to do is

  • to get all of your tax-related documentation in order and
  • contact a qualified tax attorney as soon as possible

Even if you don't need to contest the audit or associated ruling, it can be useful to include a lawyer in the loop as soon as possible in case the problem gets bigger. This is particularly important if you run a business, as business owners are far more commonly audited by the IRS.

Getting Your Tax Documents In Order

Receipts, invoices, budget spreadsheets and payroll information are among the documents that IRS professionals will want to see when they conduct an audit. When you get the audit notification, you should create a folder or binder with all this information so auditors can easily look through the information. It should include past tax returns as well as present ones, and items should be organized. If you don't have receipts, you may be able to use online credit card or bank statements, though this may be more difficult if you don't have separate accounts for your business.

How A Tax Lawyer Can Help

A tax lawyer can provide useful advice and consultation about what tax lawyers are probably looking for with regard to your particular situation. Auditors generally won't tell you the red flags that came up in your tax return beforehand. If your audit reveals that you need to pay additional taxes, your tax lawyer can help you understand and, if you have a case, to contest any fines or back taxes that may have been levied as a result of the audit.