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What To Do If You're Being Audited

By: Gray Rollins

Audits are regularly issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). There are two main reasons why an individual or business may be audited by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Random audits are not as frequent as they used to be; however, they do still exist. The majority of audits ordered by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are because they noticed a large mistake or they feel a taxpayer is trying to deceive them to receive a larger tax refund. Despite what many individuals feel, being audited is not the end of the world. The best way to handle an audit is to learn ahead of time what do if you're audited.

When the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) makes the decision to perform an audit someone from the Internal Revenue Service will contact you. At this time they should provide you with the information you may need for the audit and what time the audit will occur. Since the majority of taxpayers are unprepared for an audit, many taxpayers may ask for more time to prepare. The majority of audit appointment extension requests are granted.

Before an audit occurs taxpayers will have to prepare all of the necessary financial documents for the audit. It is important you determine which year you are being audited for. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) typically requests an audit one to three years after a tax return has been filed; however, they can request an audit at anytime if they feel a taxpayer was trying to defraud the government. Knowing which year you are being audited for will prevent you from wasting time looking for the wrong documents, or from looking unprofessional by showing up at an audit with the financial records for the wrong year.

Although audits performed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are stressful and potentially confusing, there are a number of taxpayers who handle audits all on their own. If you make the decision to deal with an auditor on your own, there are a number of things you should consider and keep in mind during the audit. There are many taxpayers who feel they are being helpful by volunteering information to the auditor; however, many do not realize they can actually be doing more harm them good. The majority of audits focus on a particular part of a tax return. When a specific part of a tax return is being examined, many auditors do not even review the other parts. Individuals who volunteer information on their own may raise a red flag to another error that previously went unnoticed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Individuals representing themselves in an audit are encouraged to answer all of the auditor's questions accurately; but they are also encouraged not to offer any extra information.

While they are just trying to do their job, it is possible that some auditors may come off as being mean or pushy. You need to know that if at any time you do not feel comfortable in the tax audit or you do not feel things are going your way, you can hire the services of a professional tax lawyer. To do so you will have to temporarily stop the audit and request an extension. There is nothing wrong with hiring a tax attorney and it does not mean you did something illegal. There are a number of individuals who did not know what to expect when being audited and later determined it was something they were not equipped to handle. Tax attorneys are likely to see an audit through all the way to the end and then work with you to resolve a problem with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The majority of taxpayers will not experience an audit in their lifetime; however, it is still a situation that everyone should be prepared for. Whether you represent yourself at an audit or hire the services of a professional tax attorney there are a number of ways to learn what to do if you are audited. As long as you were honest on your tax return and have all of your financial records in order, you should have nothing to worry about.

Gray Rollins is a featured writer for the TaxHelpDirectory.com. To learn more about how to avoid being audited, and tax audits, please visit our site.

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