IRS Tax Audit Checklist: 9 Essential Points


If you are audited by the IRS, there is just not a chance of crippling tax bill, but there is also a chance that your civil auditor will "refer" you to the IRS Criminal Investigation division. Here's what you need to know if that happens:


1. Know your rights

Before your audit, read IRS Publication 1, "Your Rights as a Taxpayer."


2. Be honest

If you are audited by IRS, lying to the IRS can trigger heavy fines and even jail time. But do not divulge too much information either, as that can open an investigation further. Knowing what to say, and what not to say, is a fine line with the IRS.


3. Get help

You can be represented by an tax attorney who has experience in IRS audits and processes, a CPA or an enrolled agent.. Your representation should have experience because then they know how to walk that fine line!


The IRS has a 90% conviction rate for those charged with a tax crime. If you think that you may be at risk for criminal investigation, be sure to speak to a tax attorney and no one else before going any further. Why? The IRS can subpoena other tax professionals in criminal matters and force them to tell the IRS what you told them. 


4. Be  organized

You'll have more credibility if you can quickly answer questions and produce what's asked of you. If you need time to get your act together, request a postponement.


5. Stick to the topic

Whether you're answering a question or responding to a request for records, when audited by IRS, only give the IRS what it requests. Do not attempt to "brown nose" or curry favor with the auditor.


Sometimes auditors are very stern and straigth forward. Some are very "buddy buddy". It's a smart tactic for them to behave that way; you're more likely to feel comfortable with them. And then, perhaps, you'll share more information than you should.


6. Take notes

Keep track of the examiner's questions and your answers. But, it is our advice that even though you have the right to, you should not tape record your interview when you are audited by IRS.


7. Be courteous

Don't be hostile. If you are branded as "difficult," you may hurt your chances of success,


8. Consider an appeal

If you disagree with the auditor's findings, you might first try talking to a supervisor. You also can send a protest letter to the IRS Office of Appeals within 30 days of receiving the report. This appeal will be reviewed by an appeals officer who is likely a top-notch professional. It is our experience that the IRS Office of Appeals has some of the best and brightest in the IRS.


9. Consider tax court

If you do not agree with the IRS Office of Appeals findings, you can consider going to tax court. The number one factor in whether or not your tax court case succeeds or fails is how well your developed your case administratively. If you follow the above steps precisely and calmly, your tax court petition will have the most favorable chance of prevailing.


If you're facing an audit and are feeling overwhelmed, contact us. We can help. We've successfully represented thousands of clients in front of the IRS. Call us at 888-727-8796 or email info@irsmedic.com.