How to Prepare Yourself for an IRS Audit
The worst thing that you can do after your receive a tax return audit is to ignore the problem or to procrastinate in facing the predicament that you are in. Once you receive that notice from the IRS, you need to be proactive in defending yourself. Time is of the essence when it comes to establishing your defense. The more prepared that you are, the more successful that you will be. The audit notification will inform you of which type of audit that you will be undergoing and you need to prepare yourself accordingly.
The first and most common type of tax return audit is a correspondence audit. These audits typically require you to provide some type of documentation to back up a claim or to support a deduction that you have made. Once you successfully provide this information to the IRS they will give you notice that the audit was completed and that is the end of it. If you can not produce the requested information they will figure out what taxes that you owe them and they will send you a bill. The best defense in this type of audit comes from organization and preparation. Save all of your receipts and documentation. Keep them somewhere safe and in order so that you can access them should the need arise.
The next type of tax return audit and perhaps the most intimidating type is the office audit. You will be given a time and date that you must arrive at an IRS location and supply requested information and answer questions from IRS agents. While it is entirely acceptable to ask the IRS for more time in tracking down information and compiling their requested items, by demonstrating to them that you are organized and that your finances are orderly you will be sending them the message that your taxes are also done meticulously. These types of audits can be extremely stressful. If you receive an office audit you would be best advised to hire a professional tax attorney to appear at the audit on your behalf.
And finally, there is the field audit, in which an IRS agent will come out to your home or business in order to ask you questions and verify documentation. This type of audit is not as common anymore but once again it would be in your best interest to seek representation from an attorney under this specific circumstance.