Is the IRS Auditing My Tax Return?
Have you received an IRS audit notice? Many Michigan taxpayers are audited every year, the concept that the IRS would like to take a closer look at your taxes can be very intimidating. Hiring a tax resolution company like Austin & Larson Tax Resolution in Howell, MI, Jackson, MI, and Saginaw, MI for your audit representation can help ease the anxiety of an IRS tax audit. Our team of IRS Enrolled Agents, Tax Attorneys, CPAs, and Tax Accountants are top notch in the field of IRS audit assistance.
If the IRS selects one or more of your income tax returns for audit, you will receive a letter in the mail notifying you of the tax audit. This letter will state what years are being selected for examination, along with the contact information for the person performing the audit.
The IRS will notify you of the line items on your return that are under examination. As the taxpayer, you are the one with the burden to prove each item on your return. For every item that the IRS is examining, you will have to provide support to show that you are entitled to the claimed item or deduction.
Based on the information you provide, the IRS can either approve your deduction, deny your deduction, or adjust your deduction. They may also decide to expand your audit to additional items on your return or review additional tax years for adjustments. They may also open audits on related entities, such as your business.
The IRS generally does not give you much time to provide information or schedule an interview meeting. As soon as you receive an audit letter stating that the IRS is opening an audit on your tax return, you should seek immediate IRS tax audit help from Austin & Larson Tax Resolution. We serve all Michigan taxpayers, at 1-866-668-2953, with the objective of successful tax debt relief and settlement.
Also, the fact that your Federal income tax return was audited does not mean that your return was incorrect. However, even if you claimed proper tax deductions, if you are not able to prove them, they will still be denied.
What are the Objectives of an IRS Tax Audit?
The IRS audits your return to determine if the items claimed on it are correct. The return may have been selected for audit based upon an IRS “red flag” item or it may have been randomly selected. Although the IRS does not provide a list of items that will trigger an audit, some common items include excessive itemized deductions or business losses.
Although an IRS auditor is supposed to be looking to make sure your claimed deductions are correct, an auditor is generally looking to make the largest adjustment to your return that they can. Many clients that have tried to represent themselves find that IRS tax auditors will be very friendly while interviewing them, only to later use their statements out of context on the audit report to deny their deductions. Or they state that they have provided support to the IRS auditor multiple times, only to have the deductions denied and the auditor stating that they received no support.
Your objective during a Federal tax audit should be to arrive at the correct tax amount. For some taxpayers, the correct tax amount is the same as the amount on their original return. Some taxpayers do claim deductions to which they are not entitled, leaving them with an increase from their original returns. Some taxpayers in the state of Michigan fail to claim all of their deductions. For these taxpayers, an audit may result in a reduction of tax from their original return.
In order to get through your audit and arrive at the correct tax amount, there are certain steps that you need to take:
- Keep organized and complete records for your past tax years in a safe and dry location. Many people facing an audit have lost their records to fire, flood, or moving. This can cost you thousands of dollars in tax debt if you cannot prove your deductions, even if you properly claimed everything.
- Start requesting copies of any records you do not have as soon as you are notified of a tax audit. Many third parties, such as doctors and banks take several weeks to dig up old information. With the limited amount of time provided by the IRS, if you wait to request this information, you may not receive it in time.
- Only provide the IRS with copies. Keep all of your originals. You will not get your documents back. Also, you may need to send in information more than one time. You will also need a record of everything sent to the IRS in case you need to go to appeals.
- Organize your records. Do not send the IRS a large stack of unorganized documentation.
- Read your IRS correspondence closely. There are often deadlines that must be met to preserve your right to go to U.S. Tax Court.
Is Responding to a Tax Audit Important?
Absolutely! You should not ignore a notice of tax audit. If you do not respond to the auditor and do not provide any information, all of your deductions will be denied, resulting in a large increase to your tax liability, along will significant interest and penalties. Although an IRS tax audit can be very time consuming and intimidating, not responding to the audit is even worse. Even if you have lost all of your tax records, you still need to have your representative respond to the audit and provide as much information as they can.
If you have been audited in the past, but did not respond to the IRS during the audit, there are still options available to you to get your return adjusted. You can go through a process called audit reconsideration to get your return and supporting documentation back in front of an IRS auditor. However, unlike in an audit, you do not have the right to appeal the determination to U.S. Tax Court. The ability to go to Tax Court may be very important, especially if you are claiming a deduction where there is a gray area in the law as to whether it is a legitimate deduction.
What are the Different Types of Tax Audits?
There are two main types of IRS audit, a desk audit and a correspondence audit. In a correspondence audit, you never meet face-to-face with the auditor. The IRS sends out a notice of audit and states the items that they are looking to review. You then mail them the supporting information. They will review it and either send out an audit report, or request additional information.
A desk audit on the other hand assigns a local auditor to your audit. This person will generally request one or more face-to-face interviews. They will be the main point of contact for the audit through the use of interviews, phone calls, and written correspondence.
While a desk audit is much more intimate and intimidating based on the face-to-face nature of it, it does have some benefits over a correspondence audit. For a correspondence audit, it can be difficult to get in to contact with the person reviewing your information. It can also be very difficult to explain your documentation through the mail in a Federal tax audit.
Do I Need Representation for a Tax Audit? Look No Further
Yes, you absolutely need representation for an audit. Why? Even if you believe that all of your deductions are correct and you have all of your information, you should have an experienced tax audit representative for an audit. An IRS audit is a very intricate and rule specific process. You need someone with the tax knowledge and expertise to correspond with the IRS on your behalf. Don’t leave these vital communications to chance!
In summary, your Austin & Larson Tax Resolution tax audit professional will:
- Review and explain the tax notice.
- Research all of the issues behind the IRS audit notice.
- Help you get together all of the documents and records you’ll need to resolve the tax debt issue.
- Help you respond to the IRS audit letter.
- Review and explain the results or the IRS findings.
Contact our office to speak with IRS audit support representatives with the experience and expertise to achieve successful tax debt relief today. Our team of IRS Enrolled Agents, Tax Attorneys, CPAs, and Tax Accountants will stand behind you through the complete audit process to resolving your tax liabilities. Our services start with a free, no-obligation consultation about your tax audit problems. Proudly serving Michigan taxpayers with professional IRS tax audit help – that’s Austin & Larson Tax Resolution. Call us now at 1-866-668-2953 for tax audit support. The “right” assistance that you need is near.