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What to Expect During an IRS Audit

March 30, 2021

Tax forms with an audit stamp over themThe Compliance Activities Report compiled by the Internal Revenue Service indicates that more than 771,000 tax returns were audited by the IRS in Fiscal Year 2019. Through an IRS audit, governing agencies such as the IRS are able to identify tax fraud and detect taxpayer errors. Likewise, an IRS audit can help identify whether individuals and businesses report their income, expenses, and credits accurately.

If you receive an audit notice from the IRS, consulting with a knowledgeable Florida tax law attorney is crucial to protect your rights and guide you through the entire auditing process. I am dedicated to offering comprehensive legal counsel and advocacy to clients involved in a wide spectrum of tax-related issues. I’m available to discuss your unique situation and help you navigate the audit process. As your attorney, I will work diligently to protect your financial resources and strategize how to achieve a swift and fair resolution.

My firm — Zuckerman Law, LLC — proudly serves clients in Fort Lauderdale, and throughout South Florida, including Miami, Boca Raton, and North Miami Beach.

What is an IRS Audit?

An IRS audit is a review of a person or organization’s tax information, returns, and accounts to certify that all reported income, expenses, and credits are accurate and consistent with relevant tax laws. A tax audit may be random or based on suspected activities and is often done by the IRS to bridge the “tax gap.”

Common Reasons for an Audit

Some of the more common reasons for an IRS audit may include:

  • Identifying a math or data entry error during tax return calculations

  • Using neat and round figures when filing taxes

  • Failure to report specific income

  • Reporting several business-related deductions or expenses

  • Reporting false donations or claiming too many charitable donations

  • Reporting huge losses that are not accurate

  • Claiming non-existent dependents

  • Inaccurately claiming home office deductions

  • Reporting issues related to self-employment

What to Expect During
the Audit Process

For many taxpayers, an IRS audits can be a scary situation. If your account is selected for an audit, the IRS will send you an official notice. Depending on the surrounding circumstances, your IRS tax audit may fall into one of the following categories:

Correspondence Audit

A correspondence audit is the least intrusive type of audit, focusing on minor issues such as missing paperwork, omitted income, routine math errors, or dubious deductions. A correspondence audit can often be completed swiftly and without hassle.

Office Examination Audit

An office audit is often performed in-person by IRS personnel (a tax compliance officer or revenue agent). An appointment will be scheduled at an IRS office and you will be required to attend. During the appointment, the tax compliance officer will conduct the office examination audit and determine whether all of your incomes, credits, and expenses, were accurately reported.

Field Audit

A field audit is more comprehensive, usually performed by a revenue agent, and involves different phases such as:

  • Scheduling an in-person interview

  • Examining your records

  • Verifying the accuracy of your tax returns

If you are an entrepreneur, IRS personnel may seek a tour of your business or facility for a better assessment of your tax information and records. You may be required to provide certain documents using an information document request.

What to Expect After the Audit

Once the audit has been completed, the tax compliance officer will give a detailed revenue agent report. There are three possible outcomes:

  • If your numbers are inaccurate, the report will propose possible tax changes and additional taxes due.

  • If your numbers are accurate, you can expect no changes or get a “no change” report.

  • If you overpaid your taxes, the report may suggest that the IRS issue you a refund.

How to File a Petition

Remember, the auditor’s report is not the ultimate verdict. If you disagree with the auditor’s report, you may be eligible to file a petition in tax court. Retaining a knowledgeable tax attorney to represent you during the proceedings is crucial to improve your chances of obtaining the best outcome available in your case.

Get Help from an Experienced
IRS Audit Attorney

Different circumstances may lead to an IRS tax audit. I focus my work on providing comprehensive legal guidance and strong representation to individuals and businesses facing various types of IRS, federal, and state tax issues. As an experienced Florida tax law attorney, I can help you understand your situation, fight aggressively to protect your rights and finances, and help you pursue a solution that meets your needs.

If the outcome of your tax audit wasn’t was you expected, I can help you appeal the judgment or negotiate a fair resolution with the IRS. As your attorney, I can present the facts of your case meticulously, and work diligently to pursue a favorable outcome. Having me on your side can make a big difference in your case.

Don’t face your tax issues on your own. Contact my firm — Zuckerman Law, LLC — today to schedule a consultation. I will offer you the experienced legal guidance and strong advocacy you need to make important decisions. My firm serves taxpayers in Fort Lauderdale and South Florida, including Miami, Boca Raton, and North Miami Beach.