Get the tax audit help you need
Just the thought of a federal tax audit (also known as an IRS audit) can strike fear in any taxpayer, but for many who have gone through one, the process is much less terrifying than originally assumed. Though some tax audits are triggered by improper or irregular tax returns, most auditees are chosen simply by random sample, and the process is over quickly and without issue.
What is a Tax Audit?
A tax audit is generally defined as an investigation into the history of tax returns filed by an individual, business or tax agency. You will be asked to go over these returns in person with an IRS agent, and will also be asked to produce supporting documentation (which is why it's important to keep your tax records for no less than seven years).
There are different types of tax audits, including an income tax audit, a property tax audit, a sales tax audit and many more. Tax audits also vary in their severity – for some, you may be asked only to produce a single document and mail it to the IRS office, while others may involve a full investigation of your personal or business finances, which can take weeks.
Depending on your records, an auditor may investigate a particular aspect of your claim, or a particular time frame of your history. In these cases, you may be required to produce extra documents that can verify the details and documents you already filed in your return.
Getting Tax Audit Help
Though there is often no need for additional tax audit help, consulting a professional is an option. He or she can help you organize your documents, recommend additional documentation and help you go over your returns in advance so you are prepared. If you would rather not pay for professional services, there is plenty of audit information on the Web that can help calm your nerves and prepare yourself for the meeting.
If your audit stems from allegedly fraudulent or suspicious claims and tax returns, it may be wise to consult a tax lawyer. Tax lawyers are trained to handle complex tax cases and have a deep understanding of tax laws. They can help protect you should the situation escalate and can help you understand the process of the audit.