How to Find Tax Audit Help
Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed February 22, 2018
The IRS can randomly or intentionally select a tax return to verify that the taxes reported are correct. If you've been selected for an audit, there are ways to get help to avoid penalties and charges. While it's tempting to rush through the audit process, you should be mindful of several ways to get audit help. Read on to discover how to find tax audit help.
Knowing the Basic Tax Audit Process and Your Rights
Before you seek help for a tax audit, knowing the basic tax audit process and the taxpayer's rights should make the audit process go smoother and faster. For all types of audits, the IRS will send a notification in the mail. The notification letter will contain detailed steps to take and a deadline to reply.
After responding to the notification letter, there are three possible outcomes to a tax audit. First, the IRS can accept your explanation and your supporting documents and make no changes to your tax return. Second, the IRS can propose to make changes to your tax return and you can accept the changes by signing a document. By accepting the changes, you will probably have to make arrangements to make payments. Third, you can refuse to accept the changes proposed by the IRS and challenge the assessment. You can set up a conference with a manager at the IRS office to resolve the issue.
The IRS informs its employees and the taxpayers that the taxpayers have the following rights:
- A right to professional and courteous treatment by IRS employees
- A right to privacy and confidentiality about tax matters
- A right to know why the IRS is asking for information, how the IRS will use it, and what will happen if the requested information is not provided
- A right to representation, by oneself or an authorized representative
Finding Tax Audit Help
Receiving a notification letter may be intimidating, especially if the IRS is telling you that there's an error in your tax report. Don't panic. There are ways to fix those problems by getting help. Depending on how you've been audited, you should carefully determine whether you need self-help tools, tax audit assistance, or full representation for your audit.
If resolving your audit issues seems simple, you can use online or self-help tools. The IRS publishes articles and guides that explain specific tax issues. Read those documents to find answers to questions you may have. If the IRS is simply asking you for additional document(s) for accuracy, you probably won't need to buy tax audit assistance services or hire a tax lawyer. As long as you provide required documents, your audit will end.
Tax Audit Assistance
There are various tax audit assistance programs, which can help you learn about what to expect and discover details of your audit. Services vary by companies and types of services. Typically, a tax professional will assist you in reviewing your audit notice and explain your options. In some cases, the tax professional will handle issues and paperwork to process your tax audit.
Tax Audit Representation
If you're being charged with a serious penalty or a crime, then you should consider getting tax audit representation. If the IRS states that you made a serious mistake, you may be facing a large penalty. Hiring a tax lawyer is necessary when there are tax fraud or evasion issues. In that case, you should hire a tax professional or a tax lawyer, who will negotiate on your behalf, research any issues related to your audit, and communicate with the IRS tax agent to resolve the issues.
How to Choose the Right Tax Professional for Your Audit
There are many resources and companies offering tax audit help, but you need to make sure you choose the right one for you. Make sure the service you choose will help you the get the result you want. Here's a basic list of what you should look for.
- The tax professional must be trained and specialized in tax.
- The tax professional should be able to tell you what to expect and how to prepare for the audit.
- The tax professional should help you understand tax law.
- The tax professional’s office should be conveniently located (for tax audit representation).
- You should feel comfortable telling the tax professional your personal information.
Get Professional Legal Help With Your Tax Audit Concerns
Dealing with a tax audit can be overwhelming and stressful, especially if you're in the dark about the process or have reason to believe you may have made some errors in reporting taxable income. Mistakes happen, but it's important to get a lawyer involved who can explain the process, discuss your options, and represent you in court if necessary. Get started today and contact an experienced tax attorney near you.
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