Received an Audit Letter from the IRS?
What should I do about an audit letter from the IRS
Never just contact the IRS. Don’t call to schedule a meeting with them. Most people don’t realize that your IRS tax situation often goes way beyond the IRS audit letter. We all have more detailed situations with the IRS than we realize. We may have been audited in a prior year. They may have lost a prior return. You may be a target of someone reporting something you did. All of this without you even being aware of it. There is no requirement that you receive notification from the IRS concerning any actions they take against you.
Why shouldn’t I respond to an IRS Audit letter
The IRS loves to take advantage of people who don’t understand how this often-scary government organization operates. Talking to the IRS may cause you to say things that they will use against you later. They trick people when they misquote the law. They often deny receipts and say they are not good enough to support your deductions. They will have you believe whatever they want. When contacting the IRS, you must be fully armed with the knowledge of your prior records, and the rules involving what is on your tax return. I have seen the IRS deny receipts and put information in their files that later hurt the taxpayer. Never attempt to contact the IRS without a detailed consultation with a CPA who has many years of representing taxpayers.
How to Avoid an IRS Audit
You must never file your return before April 15th. It’s always best to wait till the IRS has the information from third parties. Your tax return must separately include the information. Do not keep them guessing about whether you reported it. Your return must include explanations as to why the return is reporting what you are reporting. You must tell them about the situation, how you have followed the rules, about the quality of your evidence. Things that will discourage them from thinking that if they audited you, that they would get a lot of money from you. And of course, file right before the extension deadline. This way they have selected most of the current years returns for audit already. Anyone who has followed my four-part rules for preventing audits, to this day has not been audited. At least to my knowledge they haven’t.
Know that IRS Auditors may deny legitimate deductions
When we audit proof returns, we look at it from the standpoint of someone at the IRS wanting to get as much money as they can from a taxpayer. You need to do that too. You need to be aware of the rules governing what the IRS considers legitimate for the return. You need to know what issues pertaining to those items the IRS is currently questioning. We have had a few tax preparation firms we represented that failed to keep the required documentation for claiming the earned income credit on their clients’ returns. They were not aware of a regulation requiring them to ask questions that went beyond filling out the required questionnaire. This is one reason why it is dangerous to do your own returns. The requirements go way beyond just filling out the forms correctly. Often taxpayers are misled when they read information on the internet or call the IRS. Avoid overpaying your taxes. Don’t play into their hands. We can be of great help.
Auditor Tricks and what to do
Some IRS auditors will refuse to look at your evidence. Some will even refuse to hear your arguments and just send you a Notice of deficiency and the final audit report. However, the audit report is not final.
You can open the audit up again for IRS audit reconsideration by discussing it with the auditor, the auditor’s manager, audit reconsideration, appeals, etc. Many people who represent their clients before the IRS are not aware of the various ways to get the IRS to fully consider the taxpayer’s position on their tax returns. Whether business or personal, auditors will always try to have the upper hand. It is how we respond that is critical to not being taken advantage of.
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