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

What to do when a letter from the IRS arrives in the mail

As American taxpayers breathe a sigh of relief that another April tax deadline has passed, some will soon begin receiving unwelcome inquires from the Internal Revenue Service. Perhaps few articles of mail are more dreaded than a letter from the IRS. In some cases, the IRS may contact a taxpayer requesting more information or ask for clarification related to a portion of their tax filings. In other cases, a letter from the IRS may be to communicate notice of an IRS audit.

Upon receiving notice that a taxpayer is the subject of an IRS audit, it's important to remain calm. In cases where an individual believes the audit may be in response to an error made when preparing or filing one's taxes, it's wise to take steps to rectify those mistakes. Depending on the circumstances and amount of any tax discrepancies, an individual may also choose to seek the advice and assistance of a criminal defense attorney who handles criminal tax matters.

Provided an individual isn't immediately aware of the information may have triggered an audit, it's important to only answer questions and provide information for specific requests. When audited, some taxpayers may assume it's best to provide as much detailed information as possible. Doing so, however, may open an individual up to additional scrutiny and lead to even more hassle and potential problems.

It's best, therefore, to be extremely pointed when answering IRS information requests. In cases where a taxpayer has problems finding or obtaining information sought in an IRS audit, supplemental materials that support the authenticity of disputed claims or amounts may be submitted. To ensure the audit process is as quick and painless as possible, it's also important that a taxpayer is prompt in their replies to IRS inquiries and requests and also cooperative and courteous.

Source: Fox Business, "What to Do if Your Receive an Audit Letter from IRS," Donna Fuscaldo, May 9, 2014

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