How Will I Know If I Am Being Audited?
If you have received an audit notification, this does not always suggest you have made an error on a return or have been dishonest. In fact, some examinations result in a refund to the taxpayer or acceptance of the return without change.
The IRS uses several different methods for selecting returns for audit:
- Random selection and computer screening. Returns are sometimes selected based solely on a statistical formula, comparing your return against “norms” for similar returns. “Norms” are developed statistically from a random sampling of returns compiled as part of the National Research Program.
- Related examinations. Your return may be selected if it involves issues or transactions with other taxpayers, such as business partners or investors, whose returns were selected for audit.
An IRS auditor will then review your return. The auditor may accept the return without changes or forward it to an IRS examination group if questionable items were noted.
At this point, the IRS will notify you by mail that you are being audited. Keep this notice. Your tax professional will need a copy. It will provide instructions as to any additional information requested that may pertain to income, expenses, or itemized deductions.
How far back can the IRS go to audit my return?
As a general rule, the IRS can include returns filed within the last three years in an audit. If substantial errors are noted, the IRS may go back as far as six years.
What happens if I disagree with the audit findings?
If you agree with the findings, you will be asked to sign an examination report or similar form, depending on the type of audit conducted. If you owe money, a payment option that best suits your needs will be negotiated.
If you disagree with the findings, you can request mediation or you can file an appeal.
Hiring a tax professional with Tax Help Advisors, LLC can give you the peace of mind that your audit is being handled by knowledgeable, experienced individuals who know how the IRS works. Our professionals stay current on tax law as well as laws that govern the IRS. We will work diligently with the IRS on your behalf to arrive at a resolution that best serves your situation. Often, our clients never have to meet with an IRS representative.
Call one of the Tax Help Advisors locations today to schedule your consultation.