An IRS tax audit may be one of the most frightening potential experiences an individual can have. After all, an audit carries not only the potential for serious financial penalties if you’ve made a mistake and unpaid your taxes, but also the risk of criminal charges if the issue is egregious enough or seems intentional.
Even those who have made every intention to pay their fair share of taxes and accurately report their income may feel extreme fear and anxiety when they receive notice of an upcoming audit. The idea of needing to defend yourself and of having every financial decision scrutinized is enough to make some people panic.
Having a sit-down interview with representatives from the IRS, in particular, may seem like a nightmare scenario. If you have recently received notice that you will need to complete an audit, does that inherently mean that you will have to complete an in-person interview?
Money audits take place through the mail and not in person
There are three ways in which the IRS typically conducts audits. One that most people think of and worry about will involve the requirement to go to a meeting with an IRS representative and go over tax and financial records in detail. For businesses, it is also possible that the IRS sends a field agent to their facility to conduct an audit on site.
For businesses and individuals facing an audit, it may also be possible to complete the process through written correspondence only. If all the IRS needs is additional documentation to validate your reported income, claimed deductions and exemptions, you may be able to complete the entire process without ever needing to sit down with a representative.
The interview process doesn’t have to be stressful for you
Trying to advocate for yourself in an area where you are not an expert can seem like an impossible feat. Getting the right help as soon as you find out about an upcoming audit can make navigating the process of responding, managing an interview and defending yourself less difficult and stressful. Although an audit is not a criminal proceeding, you do have the right to have a professional assist you in your audit defense.