Many people who go in for an IRS tax audit often feel quite powerless during the process so they should hire a tax lawyer to assist them. Contrary to that belief, you have some very specific rights. The audit process is unique and thus, your rights are too. Over the years, the many statutes and the three taxpayer Bills of Rights (which are now part of the IRS Code) have come together to help protect you. With the help of your New York tax lawyer, you should feel pretty confident going into an audit. So what are your rights? Let’s spell them out in regular language.
- You have the right to have the audit process explained to you so that you understand what’s going on.
- You have the right to request that certain information be provided to you when an IRS employee contacts you in any manner.
- You have the right to have the audit appointment at a specified, reasonable time and place for both you and your tax attorney.
- You have the right to be represented, or to consult an authorized representative (tax attorney) or tax lawyer during the audit interview(s).
- You have a right to have all communications to all tax professionals who represent you be held completely confidential by the IRS.
- You have a right to be notified if the IRS issues a summons to any third party and you have a right to have an opportunity to stop that summons.
- You have a right to get advance notice from the IRS if it intends to make third party contacts, and, upon request, you have a right to a record of such third party contacts on a periodic basis.
- You have the right to record any interview you have with the IRS.
- You have the right not to be subjected to repeated audits. This is to keep the IRS from re-examining the same issues despite finding no major problems or discrepancies in your taxes.
- You have the right to present witnesses during the audit.
- You have the right to have an independent appeals person within the IRS review the case, and during such a review, no ex-parte (casual) communications will take place between the appeals person and other IRS employees.
Like most rights, these do have some limitations, but your tax attorney can both educate you on these rights and help protect them, and you, during the audit. This means that if your rights are violated in any way, you may have access to judicial remedies (legal ruling by a judge or court) for a wrongful collection action by the IRS.