IRS Audit Audio Recording: Is It Necessary Or Advisable?


If you are under a tax audit by the IRS, you have the right to record the audio of your audit proceedings. Few taxpayers know this, and those who do always want to know our opinion on whether or not to record the meeting. Generally, it's not something we recommend doing.


You will branded as difficult.

There is no other way to say it. If you record your audit, the IRS will be looking at you as a difficult taxpayer. Their guard will go up. The situation will likely become hostile and the IRS will likely become more rigid. This is usually not good.


You may be branded as a Tax protester.

There is no other way to say it, but typically, only those who claim the tax code is unconstitutional (note: it probably is, but it is still the law), are those who wish to record their interactions with the auditors. Maybe you have a legitimate reason to record, but it just doesn't look good.


What you say may backfire and wind up 'hanging' you.

Years ago, in a story told me to by a Department of Justice (DOJ) attorney, an audit recording actually helped him get a prison sentence against a taxpayer. Essentially, the case came down to whether the taxpayer "willfully" refused to file a tax return. To prove this beyond a reasonable doubt, the DOJ had to show that the taxpayer knew he had a filing obligation. Kind of difficult. Well, the DOJ attorney researched the taxpayer's history and found out that he was audited years past. Wouldn't you know it, the taxpayer had demanded the interview be recorded.


So the DOJ attorney found a copy of the IRS' recording and took a listen. What did he find out, you ask? Well basically, early in the audit, the taxpayer admitted, in his own voice, that he knew he had a filing obligation!


The DOJ used this admission to prove state of mind. The taxpayer went to jail. Without this recording, the DOJ would have been probably forced to drop the charges, but with it, it made their case a slam dunk.


Why bother recording? Good work and smart arguments are better than turning a conversation into a permanent part of the record.

It is our position that when it comes to an audit, your documents should do most of the talking. If they are organized, easy to follow and clearly articulate disputed items, that is the best record for appeal, if needed. There are a lot of emotions during an audit, and what you say can be used against you. It is better to have a clear, controlled response to an auditor — and that is what doing your homework prior to an audit is all about.  You do not want there to be a recording of something that you said off-the-cuff or in frustration — that could become part of a permanent record that can only harm you.


If you are being audited and need assistance, contact us. We can help. Call us at 888-727-8796 or email info@irsmedic.com.