How to Attend A Tax Audit

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If you attend the audit personally, it’s important to deal with the auditor in a professional, businesslike manner. The IRS Manual prohibits a single auditor from conducting two audits of the same taxpayer within a three-year period (provided the earlier audit has been closed). So if your return is assigned to an auditor with whom you have dealt with in the past three years, and you wish to have a different auditor, inform the auditor’s group manager.

Avoid being antagonistic. Remember the auditor is just doing a job. Also, a hostile attitude on your part may give the auditor the impression that you have something to hide and may lead to closer scrutiny of your case. Nevertheless, it is possible that during the course of an audit, you will conclude the auditor doesn’t understand your position or is in some manner treating you unfairly. In that case, you have the right to meet with the auditor’s supervisor to discuss the problem. Request such a meeting in a professional manner. You’ll have continuing dealings with the auditor, so you still don’t want to antagonize him.

If your problem involves a technical issue, it’s possible to request that the auditor seek technical advice in the form of a ruling on the matter issued by the IRS National Office in Washington, D.C. You can make this request to the auditor either verbally or in writing. Retaining a tax audit lawyer from Gordon Law Group can help greatly in responding to the tax audit.

Appealing

At the end of the audit process, you will receive a report by mail indicating what changes, if any, have been made to your tax bill. You then will have 30 days to appeal the audit results by taking your case to the IRS Appeals Division.

Opportunity: The Appeals Division provides you the first real opportunity to negotiate your case.

IRS auditors are supposed to look at every item on your return as simply being allowable or not allowable according to the tax law. In contrast, IRS Appeals Officers have the authority to compromise on issues after considering the weight of the evidence, the “hazards of litigation” – the cost of going to court and the risk that the IRS might lose – and the importance that the case has to the IRS as a precedent. In fact, the great majority of cases that reach the Appeals Division are settled there and never go to court.

Important: If you haven’t been advised by a professional before appealing your audit, consult someone now to ensure that your case is presented to the Appeals Division in the most persuasive manner and to be able to evaluate accurately the attractiveness of any potential settlement

If you fail to reach a settlement with the Appeals Division, your last remedy will be the more costly and time-consuming step of going to court, so you’ll want the best advice available.

Contact a tax audit lawyer to protect your rights during a tax audit and for the potential of filing an appeal.