The mail arrived; you go pull it out of the mailbox and begin sifting through it on the way back to your front door, when you find an official-looking letter from the IRS. When you open it, you find one of your worst headaches — an official audit notice.
Usually, at this point, people begin to panic and retrace their financial decisions from the past few years, trying to figure out what they did wrong. Take a minute right here, though, and take a deep breath. Just because you received a notice doesn’t mean you did anything wrong, and even if you did, a tax attorney can help you navigate your way through the process with ease.
Your first question should be why the IRS is auditing you. Make sure you ask, since the reason may not be specified. Some reasons may include:
- automated flags where your return is scored for things like out-of-the-ordinary claims or larger than average withholdings
- selection at random
- certain activities, like cash wages, on your return.
Once you know the reason for the audit, you and your tax lawyer can begin building a plan on how to handle it. This can also help you find the tax help you need in a shorter period of time.
Next, figure out what type of audit is being held. Depending on the notice, you are either going to have to undergo a correspondence audit, a field audit, an office audit, or a Taxpayer Compliance Measurement Program audit. Each of these necessitates a different response, so figuring this out is an important step.