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Dealing with an audit: 3 tips to get through it

On Behalf of | Nov 10, 2020 | Tax Law

An audit is something most people want to avoid in any way they can. An audit can be stressful, especially if you don’t work with professional tax attorneys or accountants each year when you file.

The good news is that there are steps that you can take as you work toward resolving the audit that will make it much easier for you. Those three steps include:

  • Getting the correct paperwork together for the auditors
  • Being as brief as you can with the information you do provide
  • Avoid answering questions with misleading statements or lies

To start with, when you get the news that you’ll be having an audit, it’s a good idea to reach out to your attorney for guidance. They’ll give you some information on what you should or should not prepare for the auditor and help you understand your rights.

Don’t give up too much information

After that, remember that you should prepare the requested documents for the auditors and no others. You do not want to give the Internal Revenue Service more documentation than they ask for or documents that may lead to other complications during the audit.

Keep it brief

Remember that you may be asked questions by the auditor, but you should be brief in your responses. If they ask if you received income from a source you don’t recognize, tell them you don’t know or that you’ll need to do research to see if you did. Be honest, and be brief. You don’t want to give them any reason to believe that you’re lying or trying to mislead them during the audit.

Most people understand that doing your taxes isn’t easy, and mistakes can be made. If mistakes are made, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to be charged with a crime or that you’ll face harsh penalties. Your attorney can be there to support you throughout the audit process, so you understand what the investigation has resulted in and how to respond to the outcome in a positive way. A solid audit defense is important as you go through this with the IRS’s representative.