We all know the saying: the only things in life that are certain are death and taxes.
And most of us cringe when we hear it. One, because it's true. Two, because both death and taxes are odious to us — subjects we'd rather not dwell on. But if you've been audited by the IRS, you may be wishing you were dead as the pit in your stomach wells up with fear and dread. The IRS can audit whoever they want, whenever they want, and just because you've been audited doesn't mean you're in trouble. What it does mean is that you need to be prepared when you meet with the IRS representative. The Law Offices of Charles R. Frazier in Nashville can help advise on your upcoming tax audit and help get you prepared. Below are tips for surviving a tax audit, and if you need expert tax attorney advice, call us today!
Tips for Surviving a Tax Audit
- Read the tax notice. Anything labeled “IRS” should be read and not put in your pile of bills or your “to-do” pile to be forgotten. The last thing you want is to not show up to your appointment, which would result in the IRS levying whatever fines it's inclined to levy. The notice of an audit will tell you exactly what the IRS is looking for and what to bring to your IRS appointment.
- Get organized. Don't show up with a huge box stacked high with paperwork that is disorganized, crumpled, and coffee-stained. First impressions matter and if you want to prove to the IRS that you couldn't possibly owe them any more money because you are an organized, disciplined individual, then show up professional looking and prepared. Arrange all of your paperwork, utilizing manilla envelopes or any other method you have to keep your paperwork in files. The ball is in your court. It's up to you to prove to the IRS your deductions and that your taxes are correct.
- Stick to the audit content only. The last thing you want is to show up to the IRS with extra paperwork or to divulge other information that only causes a bigger investigation into other matters you're not being audited for. For instance, talking about the brand new house you are having built or your brand new yacht probably won't sit well with the tax auditor. Sometimes, it behooves you to play the ignorance game. “I don't know” is a great answer to questions outside of the IRS audit. The rest of the questions are best answered with a simple “yes” or “no.”
- Be professional. We get it: no one wants to be sitting in an office of a tax accessor. However, the nicer you are and the more friendly you are, the more likely the IRS tax accessor will overlook little things.
- Hire a qualified tax professional or tax attorney such as Charles R. Frazier. These tax professionals have helped many people in tax audits and know what to expect, what you'll need, and how to survive a tax audit with as little damage as possible.
A qualified tax professional or tax attorney in your corner at a tax audit could save you thousands of dollars. They know your rights and know the law, so they can justify the deductions you took and settle any differences with knowledge and expertise. The tax code is complex and ever-changing and unless you find tax law engaging and read up on it for fun, you need to hire a tax attorney if you've been audited by the IRS. The Law Offices of Charles R. Frazier can help. Contact us today!