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Handling audits conducted by the IRS

Georgia taxpayers who are concerned about an IRS audit should not be too worried about the possibility. The incidence of audits, which are rare occurrences in the first place, has been dropping over the past few years. Of the ones that do occur, most are done through the mail and not face-to-face with an IRS agent. Cuts to the IRS budget over the last few years has resulted in staff cuts, and this means there are fewer agents to audit and fewer people getting audited.

In addition, individuals who do not file irregular tax returns are unlikely to be audited. An irregularity might consist of home office or other deductions that look too high relative to an individual's income.

However, even if an individual is audited, it may simply consist of some questions from the IRS that are easily answered. An honest error can generally be fixed by refiling or providing additional documentation. However, it may be necessary to pay a penalty or interest.

An individual who is being audited may wish to contact an attorney. An attorney might be able to assist in ensuring that the audit goes smoothly. This may be particularly true if there are more complex issues regarding the audit.

For example, an individual may be unable to provide the documentation required for some deductions that are queried in an audit. However, there may be other ways to demonstrate that those deductions are legitimate. An attorney may also be helpful in negotiation agreements with the IRS. An individual who owes more than they are able to pay up front has a number of options available, and it might be possible to have penalties waived or a tax bill lowered.

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