Dealing With an IRS Audit: Part 1
Know your rights
For any type of audit, professional assistance can be valuable. Indeed, you’re entitled to have a CPA, an attorney, or an enrolled agent represent you at an office or a field audit. In such a situation, it may be possible for the audit to take place at your CPA’s office.
You also can receive help in requesting a postponement, if you need time to gather your records. If you must be present during the audit, you should answer all questions accurately, but there’s no need to volunteer any information that the IRS does not request. If an appeal of IRS findings seems warranted, your CPA can handle that as well.
Avoiding an audit may be difficult if you’re self-employed, a business owner, or a highly-compensated employee. Probability may put you under the IRS spotlight someday.
Recognizing your vulnerability, take steps to minimize your financial exposure in case the IRS selects you for an audit. Report your income and your justifiable deductions accurately. Don’t overlook income reported on various 1099 Forms. In case of grey areas, discuss the matter thoroughly with the professional preparing your tax return and carefully consider extremely aggressive positions.
Keep in mind that the IRS communicates first by U.S. mail. If you receive an email purporting to be from the IRS, or a phone call demanding immediate payment, it’s a fake.