IRS tax audits can be scary. Most people have no experience with being audited, which causes them to panic and make bad decisions. The truth is, if you are honest, follow instructions and stay patient, you can get through an audit.
Above all, don’t make these mistakes.
1. Ignore the Audit
Getting an audit letter in the mail can be terrifying. It usually means that the IRS believes that a mistake has been made or that information does not seem to make sense.
For a taxpayer, that means a scrutinized look at their personal finances. Ignoring an audit, however, means that the only choice the IRS will have is to elevate the inquiry to a criminal investigation.
Deal with the problem now so you can avoid the more significant problem later. You can seek assistance from IRS audit specialists at Key Tax Group in case you have concerns so you can deal with them right away.
2. Get Hostile Towards Your Agent
Audits can be frustrating and it’s common to lose your temper. However, do not insult, badger, or harass your agent.
Anything you do that makes the agent feel as if they cannot work with you will likely cause them to kick your case to another agent or send it to criminal proceedings.
Ideally, you want your agent on your side through this process.
3. Postpone Your IRS Meetings
Postponing meetings can seem like a good way to delay the problem of an audit, but all this really does is frustrate your auditor.
Ideally, you want to do everything you can to keep your agent as happy with you as possible. Do everything you can to keep appointment times and keep the process moving along as quickly as possible.
4. Submit False Information
If you do realize you’ve made a mistake, it can be tempting to try to hide the evidence or not draw attention to the problem.
The reality is that in nearly all cases, the truth is eventually found. If you are honest from the start, or if you can identify the problem as quickly as possible, then it’s much more likely that your agent will be willing to negotiate with you to fix the problem.
Remember, your agent also wants to deal with this case as quickly and efficiently as possible.
5. Be Unwilling to Compromise
IRS penalties can be harsh, even for relatively minor mistakes.
Fortunately, there is a way to negotiate some penalties and bring them down to a more reasonable level. Just realize that if you made a mistake you will have to pay some type of penalty.
The IRS almost never fully forgives a penalty. Digging in your heels or refusing to settle on an amount will most likely just cause your agent to insist that you pay the full amount.
If you’ve never negotiated with the IRS before, don’t be afraid to get some help.
6. Try to Handle the Audit on Your Own
Audits can be complicated. Missing a deadline, failing to file the right form, and a whole host of other issues can delay your case coming to a close and result in you paying higher penalty fees.
Hiring a team of lawyers to help you through the process can save you thousands of dollars in penalties, fees, and extra taxes.
If you are under an IRS audit, it can be tempting to ignore the audit, lie to the auditor, or do just about anything else you can to get the problem to go away.
The truth is, the only way to get the problem to go away is to work through it.