Once you send off your tax returns you can breathe a long sigh of relief. Now all that's left to do is wait for your refund if you are lucky enough to be receiving one. However, if you did not file your return properly, you may set off red flags with the IRS with the end result being an audit. It is important to note that no matter if you prepare your own tax returns or utilize an accountant, there is always a chance that you will get audited. The information below will help prepare you in the event that you receive an audit letter from the IRS.

NEVER IGNORE ANY LETTERS FROM THE IRS! If you have never been audited and are concerned, learn what you can do to avoid an audit.

Get Educated
The IRS appreciates effort to resolve the issues and evidence that you understand tax laws. So you will have some homework to do. As soon as you receive the notice about your audit, make it your business to educate yourself about tax laws related to the specific topic/area of your audit.

Consider Hiring a CPA For Help
Since the tax laws associated with your audit may be way over your head, you may want to consider hiring a CPA for help in representation and getting your material together. A qualified certified accountant has experience dealing with the IRS. The money spent on a CPA could save you a lot of money in the long run. Also, if the stress of an audit is more than you can handle, then you can give power of attorney to a tax attorney or a CPA and they can represent you at the audit without you being there.

Get Prepared
Don't wait for the last minute to get ready for your audit. Give yourself plenty of time to research and assemble your paperwork so that you are well equipped and ready to face this difficult challenge. It may make you feel better to know that people report the IRS is surprisingly pleasant to deal with during an audit.

Be Honest
If you realize you made a mistake on your return, be honest about this. The IRS agents want you to be open and tell them the truth. If you can't find the original documentation for a particular transaction, do your best to write down as much information as you can remember, and tell the agent you could not find the originals.

Request an Extension
If you need extra time to gather the documents you need, you can try to get an extension. Although the IRS is not too lenient in this area, you might be able to obtain up to a two week extension.

Show Them Only What They Are Asking For
Be precise. The IRS does not want to hear anything extra. Only speak when spoken to and answer their questions concisely and to the point. Adding anything additional could cause the auditor to examine your returns more deeply and you could be raising a red flag about something else without even realizing it. All the documentation about the areas in question, such as particular deductions, must be shown. It is important to focus on the areas being asked about and nothing else. Only bring paperwork related to your particular issues to the audit and nothing else! Too much information could work against you!

Plan For Having to Pay
You should brace yourself for the likelihood you will have to pay more taxes and possibly a fine. At this point you can just pay and get out of there. If you want to try and lower your payout, you should ask to see a supervisor to get a second opinion. After that, you can try to negotiate to a lower amount owed. They will also likely work out a payment plan in the event that you are unable to settle the entire debt at once. You may also want to consider utilizing one of our tax loans for helping with payment. We offer affordable packages for people of all credit scenarios.

You can also choose to appeal the decision. But you will have legal fees of an attorney to represent you. Clearly, decisions will have to be made. Which is another reason why having a CPA on your team during an audit is a very wise decision. Good luck!

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