How to Approach an IRS Audit

Getting audited by the Internal Revenue Service can be one of the worst moments in anyone’s life, and even that may not be selling that notion well enough. Tax audits can be life-changing, and there are many steps you can take to protect yourself from a potential audit. For example, if you are going to take large deductions on your taxes, you should make sure you have substantial evidence and records to support your deductions.

But if you do get audited — even if you take every precaution — what should you do? Let’s talk about this unfortunate situation:

  • Getting audited can provoke certain reactions out of people. Some people may want to get the audit done as quickly as possible. Other people may procrastinate and try to ignore the audit. Neither of these tactics works. Rushing the audit can lead to more problems, and procrastinating will certainly draw the ire of the IRS.
  • So when you are audited, take a measured and calm approach to it. Don’t rush, but also don’t take too much time. Respond in a timely and appropriate manner to the IRS.
  • When you respond, provide information and evidence that they request. You don’t have to provide any other additional information. In fact, providing additional information may hurt you, so only give the IRS what they ask for.
  • Should the audit go against you, don’t forget that you have the ability to appeal any action that the IRS takes against you. Should you appeal, make sure to get in touch with an IRS audit attorney as soon as possible.

Source: FindLaw, “What to Do if the IRS Audits You,” Accessed Sept. 30, 2015

Brian Coggins

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