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What Steps Should I Take During an IRS Tax Audit?

audit papers

Audit—it’s one word that sends shivers down the spine of any taxpayer. However, the good news is that your odds of being audited are extremely low, with only .60% of individual returns being audited.

But what happens if you are audited? Don’t worry, it won’t be that bad! Often, audits are routine checks and don’t necessarily mean that you’ve done anything wrong.

To learn more about an IRS tax audit and how you can manage the process, keep reading.

Don’t Panic

It can be beyond scary to imagine going through an audit, but it’s actually never as bad as you might think! It helps to stay calm and optimistic, as the audit is never going to be as bad as you might imagine.

Staying calm will also help you remain clear-headed and make rational decisions, giving you the best chance of a successful audit. Getting angry or becoming scared means you’re likely to make poor decisions or lash out at the IRS, which won’t help your case.

Seek Professional Help

IRS tax filing is much easier with the help of a qualified accountant—but they’re a huge boost to anyone going through an audit as well. The best CPA firm knows tax law, inside and out, and has likely been through the audit process with other clients.

person checking tax papers

This means they can walk you through the process, figuring out what might have triggered the audit. A tax attorney can help as well—learn more here about how they can help your situation.

Answer All Questions Honestly

One of the best things you can do during the audit process is to be honest. You’ll want to spend time reading through the IRS audit and then prepare answers to all of their questions, as thoroughly and honestly as you can.

If you’ve done nothing wrong, then providing honest answers will help your audit be cleared as quickly as possible.

Understand Audit Causes

After you’ve been through an audit, you probably won’t want to go through it again. To prevent future audits, take the time to learn more about what triggers audits, so you can avoid them.

Often, audits are caused by honest mistakes, like math errors or incorrect social security numbers. Another common audit cause is claiming large amounts of deductions.

Or, if you fail to report income, this can trigger an audit, so always report your income in full to avoid attracting attention.

Survive an IRS Tax Audit with these Tips

The IRS tax audit process can be intimidating, but it doesn’t need to end badly. With the tips above, you can manage the audit process easily and come out ahead.

It helps to be organized, so always keep all of your past returns, receipts, and records—that way, if you do happen to be audited, you’ll have all of your tax documentation easily accessible. With the help of a tax professional, you’re sure to get through the audit quickly, allowing you to get back to your normal life.

If this article was helpful, please keep reading to find out more.

What Does the IRS Ask for in an Audit?

Most of the time, when the IRS initiates an audit by mail, the IRS will ask you to explain or verify something simple to the return, such as: About income that you did not report to the IRS. Known (such as Form 1099 income exclusion) Marital status Dependent.

How does the IRS Conclude an Audit?

An audit can be concluded in three ways:

  • No change: An audit in which you have verified all the items reviewed and no change will result.
  • Agreed: An audit where the IRS proposed changes and you understand and agree to the changes.
  • Disagree: An audit where the IRS has proposed changes and you understand the changes but do not agree with them.
What Steps Should I Take During an IRS Tax Audit?

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