Some taxpayers get scared upon the mention of an IRS tax audit, or fail to understand how a tax attorney can help them. It is merely an examination of the financial documents of an organization or an individual. This is done to ensure that tax information is correctly reported according to tax laws. This also helps dispel fraud and promote an improved tax flow for the country.
An IRS audit may be done through mail, an in-person interview or a review of taxpayer records. The interview may be accomplished in an IRS office (office audit), the home of the taxpayer, business address or the office of an accountant (field audit). The IRS will notify you with records that you need and any changes that must be done. With the right information and guidance of a New York tax lawyer, you can have a stress free experience with an IRS audit.
Reasons of Selection for IRS Tax Audit
An IRS audit normally happens when tax documents don’t match such as forms W-2 and 1099. Tax returns may also be selected for audit when they are involved with transactions with other entities undergoing audit themselves. Don’t think that you are just in bad luck when you get chosen for an IRS audit. Sometimes, it is just chosen through random selection and computer screening. An IRS audit does not always mean that there are errors in tax filing.
Upon the filing of returns, the IRS compares these against “norms” with similar financial situations. The “norms” are created from audits of a statistically valid random sample. These returns are selected in conjunction with the National Research Program of the IRS to update return selection information.
If you file an amended return, this does not affect your chances of being selected for an IRS tax audit. But it has to undergo a renewed screening process, opening the possibility that your amended return may be chosen for an audit. When you receive an IRS audit notification, you will either be notified through mail or a telephone call. The IRS does not use e-mail correspondence.
Rights during an IRS Tax Audit
You are not powerless in the midst of an IRS audit. You have rights and you must know it thoroughly:
- Professional and courteous treatment from IRS employees
- Privacy and confidentiality about tax figures and matters
- Knowledge of the intent of IRS and information on how this data will be used
- Representation either by oneself or an authorized tax professional such as a tax attorney
- Appeal in disagreements within the IRS and before the courts
Do not be afraid of an IRS audit. This is a normal government function and you have all the protection of the law to make sure that you will experience fairness and impartiality throughout the entire auditing process.
The IRS Tax Audit Process
An audit varies its length depending on the type of auditing that needs to be done. Other factors include the availability of financial information and the scheduling of both partners as well as the response on the findings.
The IRS will also send to you a written request for specific tax documents needed for the audit. You should provide this information immediately. The law requires the retention of these records and should be typically kept for three years after a tax return is filed.
After the conclusion of an IRS tax audit, there can be three possible scenarios for a taxpayer:
- No change. This proved that the IRS audit has verified all of the items in the tax declarations.
- Agreed. The IRS finds areas for possible changes and the taxpayer willfully submits to the proposed amendments to the tax declarations. Upon agreement, the taxpayer will sign the examination report prepared by the IRS. If there is tax debt, there are several payment options available for the taxpayer.
- Disagreed. The IRS finds changes and the taxpayer is informed although there is disagreement on the findings of the audit. This leads to a conference with a manager for further review. A request for an Appeal or a Fast Track Mediation can also be applied for by your tax attorney.