The more income and deductions you claim to the Internal Revenue Service, the more likely you are to be audited. In most cases, people who earn less than $1 million every year have a tiny percentage of being audited by the IRS, but that does not mean the middle class or even low-income classes do not see audits.

The IRS can flag a tax return for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Incorrect calculations

  • Claiming too many charities

  • Not reporting all your income

  • Claiming too many losses for business each year

  • Reporting too many business expenses

  • Randomly generated selection

One of the frequent questions people will ask if they are the target of an IRS audit is where they need to hire an attorney or not. In most cases, it is in your best interest to hire an attorney, even if you think that you have nothing to hide or did nothing wrong.

Anyone that is subject to an audit by the IRS will receive a letter. After the audit notification, they will need to contact a tax attorney as quickly as possible.

What to do After Receiving an IRS Audit Notification

After you receive the IRS notification that you are the target of an audit, do not panic. There are steps you need to take, and there is nothing to worry about. The preparation is easier when you have an attorney protecting your best interests.

Before you do anything, follow the following steps:

  • Examine any records to see what the IRS wants to review and what you have copies of. Sometimes the IRS is auditing an entire year’s return, while other times they are only auditing a portion of the tax return.

  • Provide copies of the documents that the IRS requests, or at least make copies so that your attorney can submit them to the IRS for you.

  • If the IRS requests documents that you do not have, do your best to reconstruct those records.

  • Consult with a tax attorney.

  • Gather names of any tax accountants that prepared the tax return in question.

  • Be as organized as possible with all your documentation.​

How an Attorney Can Help

While you might think that you can handle the IRS audit alone, it is in your best interest to consult with a tax attorney.  An attorney does more than just represent you during the audit; they can also file tax court petitions for Notice of Deficiency so that you can resolve matters through appeal if the audit doesn’t go your way. Furthermore, your attorney has the experience and education to handle an IRS audit. They have done many audits before, they know the tax code, and they have dealt with IRS auditors numerous times.

It is better to have someone represent you who has been there before than try to navigate the waters of an IRS audit yourself. Therefore, if you receive an audit notification, consult with a tax attorney in your area as soon as possible.