Have You Received an Audit From the IRS? Here’s What to Do Next

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You receive the request for an audit from the IRS usually through the mail. Here are the steps that you need to take next.

Request the Location

The IRS does not have the final word on everything. They will send you a letter that you must undergo an audit, but you can choose where the audit will take place for your convenience. Some audits are conducted entirely by mail, but more complicated matters need to be resolved in person. You can arrange to have your interview inside of your home, which is the most convenient choice for many people, at your place of work, at the nearest IRS office, which may be too far for some taxpayers, or at an accountant’s office.

Contact an Experienced Professional

Contact a professional who specializes in handling taxes and is familiar with auditing procedures. It’s helpful to have this person by your side as you collect your documents and answer difficult questions from the auditor. Preparing for an audit is already a burden that becomes even more stressful and time consuming if it’s done incorrectly.

An experienced tax accountant knows the documents that you must collect and the types of questions that you’ll be asked. Tax attorneys are also familiar with audits, so as a potential client, ask about each attorney’s level of auditing experience.

Plan for Weeks Ahead of Time

Planning is the essential factor to any successful audit. Few people can plan successfully for an IRS audit at the last minute. As soon as you get the letter, start collecting your tax documents. Some taxpayers have to request their documents from former employers or accountants that are difficult to track down, so the process could take several days or weeks of making phone calls, sending emails, waiting for responses, etc. But the more you plan, the more likely you have a successful audit and the less likely you will need to set up a second audit.

Know Your Rights

The IRS provides a list of rights that every taxpayer is entitled to when receiving an audit. Their auditors are required to provide timely, professional audits that remain private and confidential. Know your rights as far as the type of information that you should give the IRS, how your information is used and how you can appeal a request from the IRS.

An audit is necessary to clarify errors and misunderstandings that are found on tax returns. When you receive this type of request from the IRS, contact a tax accountant or attorney to help in preparing your response.


Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.


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