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If you are being audited, the IRS will contact you by mail or telephone, not by email. Included in the notice will be the specific information that is to be examined and what supplementary documents you may need to present. You have 30 days to respond to an audit notice.

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Do not put off your response, as the time you spend ignoring a letter can be time that interest builds on the amount you owe the IRS. Before an audit, you need to get your paperwork ready, seek to understand what the problem is and determine if you want representation. Gather the forms the IRS has requested. You will want to make sure you have copies, not originals. Organize your paperwork, and make sure the documents you have match up with the year that is under audit. If you realize you have misplaced certain records, immediately call and request that duplicates be sent to you.

Internal Revenue Service

For the actual appointment, you can attend by yourself or opt for representation to attend in your place or alongside you. During the audit, which will take place in person at an IRS office or at your house, you should be polite and compliant. Only show the IRS agent documents that are specifically requested. An IRS audit may end with no changes, an agreed-upon change or changes that the taxpayer disagrees with and appeals. After the interview, the examiner will present you with a computer-generated audit report, which will include the amount of additional tax that is assessed, an explanation of how your return will be changed, options for how you can appeal the report and a space that indicates whether you consent or disagree. Signing the report means you are giving up your right to go to Tax Court. If you are unsure whether you agree with the report, you do not have to sign it.

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The interest is compounded daily. The IRS examiner will often have this information prepared, showing the total you owe. TV shows and movies have created a myth about tax audits. Just the word audit strikes fear in a lot of people. Some common misconceptions about tax audits are that they only go after the wealthy, certain deductions will trigger an audit and that professional tax preparers are audit-proof. You can share your screen with the tax pro to discuss specific questions.

It works on mobile and tablet, or you can talk using a phone instead if you like. Hours of operation for on-demand chat are 8 a. Eastern on weekends during tax season. You communicate with the tax pro on-demand via a secured message center or arrange for a phone call if you prefer. At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence.

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How to deal with the IRS like a tax attorney would

Get started. Start your return at TurboTax's secure website. Start your return at TaxAct's secure website.

Three main benefits: Preventing problems, checking your IRS status, and fixing tax issues

Start your return at TaxSlayer's secure website. If your income exceeds that threshold, you can get access only to fillable electronic versions of the IRS forms and not much guidance. This gets you one-on-one contact with a tax professional to help guide you through an audit. About the author. We want to hear from you and encourage a lively discussion among our users.

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