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Why prudence is key when facing an IRS audit — II

Last week, our blog discussed how even though people throughout Tennessee and across the nation are undoubtedly grateful to have the stressor that is Tax Day 2017 firmly in the rearview mirror, there are some for whom this tax-related stress will endure.

Specifically, we talked about the unfortunate reality that some taxpayers will find an unwelcome surprise in their mailboxes in the weeks ahead in the form of an audit letter from the Internal Revenue Service.

We also talked about how even though this is a nightmarish situation, affected taxpayers should know that there are steps they can take to protect their best interests going forward.

Having already established why it’s so imperative for an individual facing an audit to proceed with the assistance of a professional– especially if an in-person interview is requested — today’s post will shift gears.

Specifically, we’ll focus on some tips offered by experts for anyone to keep in mind while navigating the audit process — whether they are going it alone or have brought in reinforcements:

  • Organization is key, meaning you’ll need to ensure that you have all documents used to prepare the tax return now being audited in your possession
  • While it’s necessary to provide the auditor with documents to support the issue being discussed, don’t supply more information than requested
  • Never give the auditor original copies and keep a list of everything submitted
  • Only respond to questions asked, supplying responses that are sincere yet succinct
  • If asked a question which you are uncertain how to answer, write it down and offer to provide the IRS agent with an answer at a later point
  • Always remember IRS agents are trained professionals able to derive information from even seemingly trivial conversations, meaning be civil and cooperative, but keep your distance

As valuable as these tips are, they really serve to underscore yet again just how important it is for people hit with an audit notice to consider retaining the services of a tax professional. Indeed, they can help people avoid potential pitfalls and, more significantly, work toward a solution enabling them to move forward.

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