How to Face an IRS Audit Confidently?

One of the scariest pieces of mail you can receive is notification of an Internal Revenue Service audit.  First of all, try to not to panic and follow this advice.

o Do not ignore the audit.  Ignoring this will not make it any better, but it will definitely make it worse.

o Follow the instructions detailed in the audit notice.  The audit notice will tell you what to do and what you need to have in your possession for the audit.

o Organize your paperwork and documentation.  The Internal Revenue Service is very organized.  They will recognize and appreciate if you come prepared.

o If you are missing any of the records your audit requires, request copies immediately.  Not having proper documentation or missing paperwork will just delay the audit and probably annoy the Internal Revenue Service.

o Make a nice appearance.  It is suggested to dress corporate casual.  Do not go to an Internal Revenue Service Audit in blue jeans or torn and battered clothes.

o Only bring the documentation they request.  Do not bring extra paperwork to the audit.  If they ask for something that they did not initially request, tell them it must be in your files.  They may drop consideration of that item altogether.

o Do not bring originals.  Only take copies with you.  You are the owner of all your original documents; it is vital never to provide the originals except for someone to copy.  In that case, do not let them leave out of your sight and don’t you leave without them.

o Do not talk too much.  Do not volunteer any information.  Simply respond to the questions asked you in a short, precise manner.  Do not go into explanations voluntarily.  Try to answer most questions with a simple yes or no.

o Be aware of all your rights as a taxpayer.  You want to settle your audit if you can, but realize that one of your rights is the right to appeal.

You may want to take this opportunity to consult a tax professional.  If a professional prepared your income tax returns, they should be willing to help you in any manner they can regarding your audit.  Many tax professionals agree to accompany their clients should they face an Internal Revenue Service audit.  If you paid such a service to prepare the return about which you are being audited, contact them immediately and ask for their assistance.

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