If you’re facing an audit from the IRS, you have rights. We are known as one of the best CPA firms in San Francisco to help with IRS audit defense issues. Based on our recent April, 2017, San Francisco Tax Tips newsletter, here are some rights that you have during an IRS audit. (Obviously, if you are facing an IRS audit, reach out to our San Francisco office for a consultation).
- Notices must include the amount (if any) of the tax, interest, and certain penalties you owe and must explain why you owe these amounts.
- If the IRS fully or partially disallows a refund claim, it must explain the specific reasons why.
- If the IRS proposes to assess tax against you, it must provide a letter with an explanation of the entire process from examination (audit) through collection, and explain that the Taxpayer Advocate Service may be able to assist you.
- The IRS letter must tell you about a possible review by an independent Office of Appeals.
- Help with Understanding Your IRS Notice or Letter is available online.
That said, for most taxpayers even this process can be confusing and intimidating. Often times the IRS communicates either in person or in writing using a legalese sort of jargon-filled language. It may not be understandable to you. Let’s face it – preparing taxes is difficult, and many taxpayers rely on CPA firms like ours to do the “heavy lifting.” Then if you are facing an IRS Audit, you have rights and you may want to work with a CPA firm and/or an attorney to make sure you secure those rights. Don’t freak out. Often all that is at risk is a simple misunderstanding over items in their computers. Most IRS audit defense issues are not that complicated. But if they are, you want a talented CPA firm by your side to secure every legal right you have and to have someone who can “talk tax” with the good folks at the IRS!