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How should I prepare for an audit?

Contact an Enrolled Agent (EA), accountant,  tax attorney or a tax resolution company qualified to "stand before the IRS" to represent you

  • Bring all the documentation relevant to the tax item(s) in question ONLY, so that the evidence needed to support your tax case is available.
  • Organize the papers according to the tax items in question, and make copies of them.
  • Bring relevant worksheets to show how the tax figures in question were calculated.
  • Do not volunteer tax information not requested by the IRS. Be cordial, but remember, "Loose lips sink ships".
  • At the end of the IRS tax audit, the IRS agent will cite any problems with the tax return.
  • After the IRS agent informally advises you of any tax adjustments needed on the tax return a formal report is filed.
  • If you owe money on one tax issue and the IRS owes money on another tax issue, the two tax amounts can be netted. In a small number of tax cases, the IRS tax audit results in a tax refund for the taxpayer.
  • If the IRS agent's tax decision is unsatisfactory, you can appeal to the IRS agent's supervisor, the Appeals Division of the IRS, and if necessary, the U.S. Tax Court.
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