Among the things that someone would not want to go through, an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audit would most likely be at or near the top of the list. Indeed, having the IRS ask to delve into your personal finances, and even come to your home as part of an audit process is something that is fraught with stress and unknowns.
That being said, although IRS audits are something to take seriously, they do not have to be as stressful as you may initially think. Of course, the best advice one could give if you do receive an IRS audit notice is to retain the services of a qualified, seasoned tax attorney. Rather than feel that you are at the mercy of government bureaucracy on your own, having an experienced tax attorney in your corner will allow you to look into and react to the IRS audit appropriately.
If you are faced with an IRS audit, we welcome you to contact us. The Law Office of Mary E. King, P.L. can make sure that your tax issues are resolved efficiently and at the lowest cost to you. Fill out our online contact form, or call us at 941-906-7585.
In this article, we will discuss those frequently asked questions that are most important with regard to an IRS audit.
How Does an Audit Begin?
Being selected for an audit does not necessarily mean that you have done anything wrong. Generally speaking, an IRS may initiate an audit if there is something on your tax return that is out of the norm, making your return an outlier in some way. But, the IRS also uses random selection and computer screening for certain returns.
With regard to the IRS’s random selection, it is sometimes the case that returns are selected solely due to a statistical formula. The formula compares returns against a set of “norms.”
In addition, sometimes returns are selected because they involve transactions with other taxpayers – like business partners or investors – who were selected for audit.
How Does the IRS Notify You of an Audit?
Currently, there appears to be a proliferation of scam phone calls being made from people claiming to be from the IRS. The calls typically threaten prosecution or “deactivation” of your social security numbers if you do not call a certain phone number. It is important for you to know that the IRS does not call people by phone.
If you were selected for an audit, the IRS will notify you by mail, not by telephone.
What Occurs During an Audit?
If you are selected for an audit, the IRS will make a request for documents and receipts to confirm the information that is on your tax return. (Be advised that you should always keep at least the documentation for the last three years in case of an audit). The IRS may also request an in-person interview in connection with your return.
If the audit is conducted by mail, the IRS’s letter will request information for you to provide, including documents showing income, expenses, and deductions. If your records are too voluminous to mail, you may also request an in-person audit.
Once the IRS has conducted its information-gathering investigation, the IRS will provide its findings, stating whether the return needs to be changed, or what additional monies may be owed.
How Long Does an Audit Take?
Unfortunately, it is hard to pin down a definite time that an audit will take. The length of time depends on a number of factors including the type of audit, the complexity of the issues, the availability of the information the IRS seeks, the availability of the relevant parties for in-person meetings, and whether you agree or disagree with the IRS’s findings.
Do I Have Rights in Connection with an Audit?
Yes, you do have rights related to an audit. Specifically, you have a right to:
1. Professional treatment by the IRS;
2. Privacy regarding your tax case;
3. Information about why the IRS is requesting documents and what it will do with those documents;
4. Appeal any disagreement you have with the IRS; and
5. Representation from a tax attorney.
What Happens at the Conclusion of IRS Audits?
There are generally three results of IRS audits in Florida and elsewhere. First, the IRS may conclude that no change is necessary. If that is the case, then no further action is needed.
Second, the IRS finds issues and you agree with its determination. If you agree that additional money is owed, then you can set up a payment plan with the IRS.
Third, the IRS finds issues and you disagree with its determination. If that is the case, then you have the right to challenge the IRS’s conclusions, ask for a second look at the information, or even appeal the IRS’s decision.
When You Are Notified of an IRS Audit, You Should Have an Experienced Tax Attorney in Your Corner
Going through IRS audits on your own is generally not a good idea. You should see the big picture in connection with your business and talk to a tax attorney who can help. Mary E. King has spent her career concentrating on tax law and can help you with IRS audits in Florida and more. Attorney King has a wealth of information about what types of options would make the most sense for you and your business.
That helps explain why she’s received an A+ rating from the Florida Better Business Bureau. If you have a tax-related issue – no matter how small or how large – setting up an initial consultation with Tax Attorney Mary E. King is the first step you should take towards relief.
The Law Office of Mary King P.L. offers complete IRS problem-solving services including all areas from tax debt settlement to planning the most efficient tax strategy for individuals and businesses. Call us today to schedule an initial consultation. With years of experience handling IRS audits in Florida for many clients, Attorney Mary E. King can make sure that your tax issues are resolved efficiently and at the lowest cost to you. Fill out our online contact form, or call us at 941-906-7585.