Are you looking for DIY tax audit advice after opening a letter from the IRS? Each year, many taxpayers decide to take on Uncle Sam and IRS problems without professional representation. Although this route may seem cheaper and more convenient, it can also be tricky. There are a few things you should know before you choose to represent yourself. These simple tips may help you tackle your audit like a pro.
Drag Your Feet a Bit
Good things don’t always come to those who wrap up their audits early. It may actually be in your best interest to delay your hearing. The IRS has three years to complete your audit from the date you filed your taxes. The longer you wait to schedule an investigation, the less time they’ll have to make additional claims against you.
However, you should start preparing your case right away. As soon as you open an audit letter, begin gathering the records and documents needed to clear your name. The more evidence you can bring into a hearing, the better your outcome—just don’t rush into a meeting with the IRS unprepared.
Ditch the Shoebox
It’s hard to believe that with all the technology available, many people still stick all their receipts and documents into a shoebox under the bed. Sure, this method can serve its purpose, but it also causes a lot of undue grief. Just ask anyone who’s spent hours searching for a single receipt after receiving an audit letter. Staying organized is critical if you want to stand up to the IRS.
Instead, take the time to digitize and sort all of your records. Whenever you make a purchase or find a deduction, scan the receipt into your computer and file it in a safe place. You won’t have to worry about making sense out of faded ink or torn corners again. Having impeccable, easy-to-access records is perhaps the easiest way to stand up for yourself during an audit.
Steer Clear of a Field Audit
No matter how much you love to host parties, you don’t want to host an IRS field audit. Welcoming the government into your place of business may open up an entirely different can of worms. Field audits tend to be more intrusive, and the agency will search high and low for additional fees and penalties. Instead, try to complete your audit either via correspondence or in-person at an IRS office.
The Best Advice: Avoid Handling IRS Problems On Your Own Altogether
The number one reason taxpayers choose to represent themselves during an audit is to save money. However, this plan often backfires. Without proper representation, you may end up paying more than you owe. Tax codes are complex, and they change each year. Working with a tax professional is the best way to ensure the IRS finds the audit in your favor.
At Incompass Tax, Estate & Business Solutions, we have the experience needed to help you beat a tax audit. It doesn’t matter how easy or complicated your case may seem—you can count on us to represent you from start to finish when you face IRS problems. Our tax professionals have over three decades of experience, and we will help you resolve your case as quickly as possible. Schedule a call with our experts to get help.