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Old 10-04-2012, 7:44 AM
e476slr6a e476slr6a is offline
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IRS Audit IRS Audit is a serious matter. Your early moves will decide success or failure. Got an IRS audit? Here’s what to do first.IRS Audit is a serious matter. Your early moves will decide success or failure. Got an IRS audit? Here’s what to do first.The most important thing to do when you receive an IRS Audit notice is DO NOT PANIC. As a CPA with over 27 years of experience dealing with IRS Audits, I know that many times taxpayers get themselves in deep trouble just by mishandling the initial audit contact. Your initial IRS audit contact may be in the form of a letter from the IRS,tiffany jewelry stores, or by an IRS auditor showing up at your home or place of work. In either case you need to take control of the situation or you will get pushed around. Of course most taxpayers are so startled or get so intimidated by the initial audit contact that its easy for the IRS to steamroll them. Don’t let this happen to you!Remember, in an audit situation, just like if you are pulled over by a State Trooper, anything you say will become part of your permanent audit record and it can be used against you in assessing additional tax, penalties, and interest. So don’t be stupid or get ugly with the auditor. The best thing to say is nothing at all. Politely inform the auditor that you would be happy to meet for an audit once you have an opportunity to read their audit request and assemble your records and receipts for inspection. THEN SHUT UP!!! Being chatty can destroy your rights and you may say the wrong thing if you misunderstand a question. Or even worse,Links of London Bracelet, you might get hurt if the auditor misunderstands your answer. So once again,tiffany on sale, the best thing to do after telling the auditor you will be happy to schedule the audit is to SHUT UP!Never allow the auditor to start your audit on the spot or without giving you an opportunity to assemble your files and pull your receipts out of storage. Typically they will give you several weeks to get your files together. Now here’s a tax audit insiders secret: The approach outlined above of responding politely but keeping a tight lip will work roughly 75% of the time. BUT, about 25% of the time the IRS auditor will play a little game I call Inspector Colombo. Remember those old TV shows with Inspector Colombo? (I’m sorry but I’m showing my age.) Colombo, whose signature look was a disheveled trench coat, would always have “just one more question.” That’s the game some IRS auditors will play. It goes something like this:You say: “I will be happy to address any of your questions and provide all required records when we have our audit appointment. Let me review your audit document request, and let’s schedule our audit for say three or four weeks from now to give me a chance to assemble my files from storage.”The IRS auditor responds: “No problem. I just have a few questions right now for my records. What is your current place of work? What banks do you have accounts at? Please provide me your current home address and all of your telephone numbers (home, work, & cell)?Wow! You just got Colombo’ed. Here is your answer to the Colombo style auditor from the IRS:You say: “As I mentioned I would be happy to address any of your questions when we have our audit appointment. I will not answer any questions at this time, before I consult with my tax advisor. Good day.” (It’s OK to then hang up the phone or politely close your door if the IRS is at your home or business.)Now please don’t misunderstand. I am not suggesting you act rudely to an IRS agent or mislead anyone. I am saying that it is very premature for you to be giving the IRS very specific collection information before it has even been determined that you owe any tax. That, in my mind, is like being measured for the hangman’s noose, before you have even gone to trial.Of course, I can tell you that after 27 years as a CPA I have seen endless horror stories of people who thought they could handle an audit without a professional to help. This generally ends up about as well as representing yourself in court in a criminal trial. Make no mistake, and audit is much like a criminal trial, except you go through it with much fewer rights than you would have in a courtroom. So what do you do when you get a visit from the IRS or receive an audit notice? The best response after going through the routine described above is to get yourself some competent representation. Nothing will stop the IRS dead in their tracks faster than to inform the auditor that you are represented by a licensed tax professional and that the auditor should speak with them directly, and them only. At that point the auditor knows they will not be able to buffalo you into doing something stupid or saying something incriminating. With a little bit of education, and the discipline to not be chatty, your IRS audit will go as smooth as possible.Need help fighting the IRS? Call our Trippon & Company CPA office at 800-952-1099. We can represent IRS audit clients in all 50 States. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call now and we’ll start protecting your bottom line TODAY!
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