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The Spodek Law Group helps people all over the USA with their IRS tax audits, and all other issues relating to failing to pay, or underpaying, taxes. We can help you negotiate a settlement with the IRS, help remove interest charges and penalties, prevent/stop wage garnishments, help remove IRS tax liens, and other actions the IRS might take. IRS tax audits are difficult to handle for any normal person. We are a law firm that is dedicated to protecting individuals and businesses from the devastating consequences of an IRS tax audit. IRS Tax problems can affect your future, and jeopardize your future. When you hire our attorneys, we intervene and help handle the IRS tax audit process. If the audit has already been conducted, we can intervene and try to negotiate a favorable settlement.
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When a typical taxpayer thinks of an audit, the assumption is they will be interviewed by a stern IRS agent who’s determined to send them to jail. While this is rarely the case, being audited is still a stressful situation for most people. However, the majority of taxpayers don’t realize there are various types of audits, some of which are very easy to navigate. If you think you may be at risk of being audited, here are some of the various types of audits you may encounter.
The easiest type of audit you’ll face, a correspondence audit is done entirely through the mail. In these cases, while this is called an audit, it is technically not considered one by the IRS, at least not initially. These situations begin when you receive a letter stating you owe the IRS money, usually due to a simple math error on your return. If you agree with the agency’s findings, you simply pay what you owe, and the problem is solved.
As this sounds, the IRS schedules a time for you to appear in person for an audit. In these cases, it’s usually best to bring with you the accountant who prepared your taxes, or perhaps a tax lawyer if your situation is complex. By doing this, you can make sure you don’t unnecessarily incriminate yourself during the audit, which may make a tough situation even worse. Once the audit is completed, you may find there will be no change to your return, you may be found to owe money to the IRS, or in some cases the findings may indicate you are due a refund. However, if for any reason you do not agree with the findings, you do have a right to appeal, and even go to court if necessary.
Happening rarely, a field audit is reserved for the most complex tax situations. In these instances, an IRS agent comes to your home or place of business, which can prove to be somewhat intimidating. However, much like an office audit, it does not necessarily mean you will end up facing severe consequences. Rather, a field audit simply means the IRS believes it will be easier to get the answers it seeks by having access to as much information as possible. But like an office audit, it’s best if you have your accountant as well as an experienced and knowledgeable tax attorney present during the audit, since the agent will be asking very detailed questions.
Always be Prepared
No matter what type of audit you face from the IRS, it’s very important to be as prepared as possible from the beginning. Even if you only have a correspondence audit, always make sure you have your facts in order. And if you are facing an office or field audit, always consult a seasoned tax attorney before the audit takes place. By doing so, you will ensure you have legal representation that can guide you through this complex process.
There are a few outcomes to an audit. The best is the auditor decides not to make any changes on your return, and you don’t owe money. The second possibility is the auditor says you owe more money, and you don’t agree with the changes. The third outcome is that the auditor makes changes to your return + says you owe more money + you agree with the changes.
After an audit is done, the IRS auditor typically issues a final audit report. The auditor will list any changes being proposed, along with the discussion points regarding the changes. If you agree with the changes, you can sign the final report and then return it to the auditor. If you can afford to pay the proposed tax, then mail the auditor a check with the final audit report signed. Do this fast, to limit any interest you could be charged on the balance. If you can’t afford to pay the increased tax, you can sign the final report and return it, and then the audit changes will be added to your account. In order to buy more time, you can choose not to sign the final report, and the audit changes will take longer to assess and show up on your tax account. This could cause more interest to accrue on the debt.
If you don’t send full payment with the audit report, you could get a balance due letter from the IRS stating how much money is owed. Your case could even be transferred to the Automated Collection Division of the IRS. If you can’t pay the tax debt in full, this is where you’ll need to try to figure out what options you have to deal with the tax debt.
The IRS can audit tax returns filed within the last 3 years. If there are substantial errors, then the IRS can audit additional years. The IRS typically does not go back more than 6 years. The IRS tries to audit tax returns as fast as possible, after they are filed. Most audits will be of returns filed in the last 2 years.
If the audit isn’t resolved, then the IRS may request extending the statute of limitations for assessment tax. The statute of limitations limits the time allowed to assess any additional tax liabilities. It is generally 3 years after a return is due, or was filed, whatever is later. There’s also a statute of limitations for making refunds.
Extending the statute gives you more times to provide more documentation, or request an appeal if you don’t agree with the result of the audit, or claim a tax refund/credit. It also gives the IRS more time to complete the audit. You don’t have to agree to extend the statute of limitations date. If you don’t agree to do it, the auditor can be forced to make a determination of your tax liabilities based on the info you provided.
If your account is selected for an audit, then you’ll be notified by mail. The IRS does not initiate an audit by phone, or email.