In the event that you receive a notice from the IRS, it is never a good idea to ignore the notice. However, it is also not a good idea to panic and give the government exactly what it wants. There are times when the IRS makes mistakes when assessing additional tax, penalties and interest.
Therefore, the first step that you should take is to review your records to
determine if you filed an inaccurate return. If you didn't make a mistake, you
can respond to the IRS with the proper documentation and have the issue
resolved. However, if you do owe tax or don't have relevant documents, you may
need to turn to a tax attorney.
Ideally, you will have your attorney respond to any notices that the IRS sends.
Generally, the government will be more willing to work with your legal
representation because it knows a lawyer understands the law much better than
You should also have an attorney initiate contact because your attorney won't
say or do anything to potentially expand the scope of an audit. It is important
to understand that when the government sends an audit, it is only entitled to
the information that it asks for.
If you are going to hire a tax attorney, the best time to do so is before you
say anything to the IRS. This enables you to go through the audit process
without jeopardizing your rights or giving the government information that
could result in more money owed.