It’s a frightening notion to have the IRS call you and tell you that your previous year’s tax return needs to be audited. After all, the penalty when they find something wrong with your file is often nothing short of dire (wage garnishment, anyone?). With that in mind, there are certain things you can do to minimize the impact of the situation.
Provide the agents only what they ask for.
You might be compelled to provide more than what they ask of you—don’t. Resist the urge to volunteer information. The fastest way to deal with an IRS audit is to confine it to the issue/s raised. Any additional information could attract the auditor’s attention to something that he might not have thought otherwise, and that could lead to more problems for you.
The IRS can make mistakes.
Agents can overlook data and make erroneous computations as easily as a taxpayer can. Sometimes, you can successfully argue a discrepancy. If you believe your auditor made a mistake, then don’t hesitate to provide proof(s) that contradict his claim.
You can have someone else represent you in an audit—you don’t have to go through it and handle it alone. Hiring a tax attorney or a professional that offers IRS audit representation services can give you peace of mind. You’ll have someone on your side who knows the ins and outs of the auditing process and tax laws.