Tax season is upon us; and that can mean feelings of confusion, stress and uncertainty for many Atlanta residents. No matter how confident you are in filing your taxes (or where you stand financially with the Internal Revenue Service), there will always be confusing or complicated steps to filing your taxes. This can lead to mistakes -- some of which can be significant enough that the IRS investigates your filing. Soon enough, you could be undergoing a tax audit.

An audit is a frustrating experience, leaving you in financial limbo as you deal with the IRS. Sometimes the process is so confusing that the person being audited caves in to any demands the IRS makes, whether they are legitimate or not. They just want the process over, so they acquiesce to the IRS and end up paying thousands of dollars in interest and penalties to correct their improper tax filing.

It is for this reason that any person undergoing a tax audit should seek legal counsel immediately. With an attorney in your corner, you can stand up to the IRS and protect yourself from paying unnecessary fees, interest or other penalties. It may not make the process any less of a hassle, but having a lawyer will greatly improve your chances of reducing the financial impact the audit has on your life.

There are some ways to prevent an audit. First, always double check your state and federal tax filings before sending them in. Second, make sure you report all of your income. That may seem obvious, but some people may skimp on tiny income amounts in a 1099 form -- and that can still result in an audit. Last but not least, make sure the deductions you are claiming are legitimate.

Source: USA Today, "Tax tips: How to avoid an IRS audit," Jeff Reeves, Feb. 5, 2013