IRS Audit Process and Beyond


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Your return has been selected for audit. You and your CPA have pulled together the material you need. Now what?

Audit survival tips

Consider the following when you are audited:

  • Request a postponement (whenever you need it) to gather your records and put them in order
  • Be sure to read IRS Publication 1 (Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights) before your audit
  • Before your initial interview with the IRS agent, meet with your CPA to discuss strategies and expected results (Best of all, have your CPA go to the audit)
  • Bring to the audit only the documents that are requested in the IRS notice
  • Be thoroughly prepared with organized records
  • Be professional and courteous (and expect the same treatment in return)
  • Do not volunteer information to the IRS agent
  • Don’t lie
  • Keep detailed records of any materials that you submit to the agent and of any questions asked by the agent
  • Ask to speak to the auditor’s supervisor if you think that the agent is treating you unfairly
  • When you get the examination report, call the auditor if you don’t understand or agree with it

If you don’t agree about the tax liability, meet to see if a compromise can be reached. If you don’t agree with the results, ask for a meeting the auditor’s supervisor. And if that doesn’t work, you have a choice on how to proceed. You can either

  • Appeal to the IRS Appeals Office; or
  • Send a protest letter to the IRS within 30 days of receiving the report

If that still doesn’t work out, you may be able to take your case to the U.S. Tax Court, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, or U.S. District Court where you live.



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