Robert J. Fedor, Esq., L.L.C.

Advice when facing an IRS audit

While most Ohio residents can breathe a sigh of relief now that the April 15 tax deadline has come and gone, some aren't as lucky. Roughly 10 percent of the U.S. population will receive a notice from the Internal Revenue Service that they are being audited. While an IRS audit can be a scary and intimidating process, there are steps those facing an audit can take to make the process less arduous.

In most cases, news of an IRS audit is relayed via written correspondence. It's important, therefore, that individuals who are notified of an impending audit respond accordingly. Throwing away the letter and claiming ignorance will neither absolve an individual of responsibility nor be appreciated by the IRS agent assigned to the case.

Once notice of an IRS audit has been received, an individual taxpayer should do their best to provide supporting evidence and documentation related to those parts of a tax return that are in question. In many cases, an IRS audit is carried out solely through a series of written correspondence. In the event an IRS agent requests an in person meeting, it's wise for those being audited to remain courteous and cooperative.

There may be instances where an individual facing an IRS audit realizes a mistake was made. If so, it's often best to admit the mistake in deduction or income amounts and work with an individual case agent to rectify. In some cases, however, the IRS may disallow a claim or deduction and issue fines and penalties. Individuals facing such situations may choose to discuss the matter and their options with a tax attorney.

In cases where an individual is facing criminal charges related to tax evasion or tax fraud, it's important to seek legal advice. A tax attorney who is adept at handling such matters can help provide for the best possible legal outcome.

Source: CNN, "How to survive a tax audit," Blake Ellis, April 24, 2013

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