Tax Audits

Getting audited can be a frightening experience. A qualified tax attorney can make all the difference. Ask a question below.
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Alicia Dearn, Esq.

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Common Tax Audit Questions

What is a tax audit?

A tax audit is the IRS’s way of verifying that the taxes you’ve submitted were accurate. Obviously, not every person or business gets audited, and, of course, audits can be stressful experiences. But remember: an audit doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve erred or will owe penalties. You may be able to prove that your taxes were in fact filed correctly.

What should I do if I’m getting audited?

First, you should absolutely think about getting in touch with a tax attorney. Tax attorneys often specialize in the audit process and, if they can’t make the audit go away completely, they can often help ameliorate some of the emotional and financial burden. Past securing legal representation, you’ll want to be forthright and honest with your IRS auditor and give them the information they’re looking for, especially if the origin of your audit was a simple, honest mistake.

What triggers an IRS tax audit?

If you don't file your taxes for a year (or several), you’re inviting an IRS tax audit. Likewise, if you have excessive deductions for your business, the IRS may come calling. And, of course, legitimate mistakes you may have made on your return can trigger a tax audit as well. When those sorts of honest mistakes happen, the IRS will often just perform a mail audit, since nothing purposeful or criminal likely occurred on the taxpayer's end.

Are there several kinds of tax audits?

Depending on how fishy your taxes seem, the IRS can audit your taxes in a few different ways. First, there are mail audits. Those may involve nothing more than the IRS asking you to verify a deduction or charitable gift and the audit could be finished as soon as you do so. These are the most typical and least invasive.

Then, there are office and field audits. An office audit means you’ll go into a nearby IRS office with certain files they’ll ask you to bring and perhaps answer questions. You can bring a tax attorney to an office audit. A field audit means the IRS is sending someone to your home or business to look things over. This can be triggered by suspicious deductions, among other things.

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Learn About IRS Tax Audits

IRS Audit Triggers: The Red Flags That Can Lead to an Audit
What To Do If You Receive an IRS Audit Notice
Do I Need a Tax Attorney?