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What happens during an IRS audit?

A Georgia tax return may be selected for an audit based on a number of criteria. While some are selected randomly for examination, others are chosen based on the information provided in the associated documentation. In some cases, a return is selected for audit because of transactions conducted with others who have had their returns audited. Those who have had their returns selected for audit will be notified either by phone or by mail. In either case, a letter will be sent to confirm the audit.

An audit may be conducted by mail or during an in-person interview. Tax audits may also be conducted at the filer's home, place of business or in their accountant's office. The length of time that it takes to resolve the matter depends on several factors, including the complexity of the audit and whether the taxpayer agrees with the audit's findings.

At the conclusion of the audit, the IRS could agree that no changes are necessary. The service could also propose changes to a return that may impose additional taxes or result in a refund for the taxpayer. If money is owed and the taxpayer agrees to pay the amount, payments may be made in a variety of ways. If the taxpayer disagrees, a conference or a mediation session may be scheduled.

During an IRS audit, a taxpayer has the right to representation from a tax attorney. An attorney may be beneficial as he or she may know how to negotiate with the government to lower or eliminate taxes owed. If necessary, an attorney may represent a client in tax court if other appeals are not effective in resolving the audit.

Source: IRS.gov, "IRS Audits", September 07, 2014

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