We talk about tax audits on this blog quite a bit; and now that some time has passed since April 15, the Internal Revenue Service is picking out tax filers whose documentation does not add up. For some, this will mean an audit; while for others, it may mean nothing.

But there are likely more than a few Atlanta residents out there who will go through a tax audit in the coming months. They may be a little nervous at the prospect, or they may already be under investgation. In either case, there are a few steps that an audit target needs to remember when they deal with the IRS:

  • First things first, it is quite rare for someone in a black suit and tie, shades and a duster to come randomly knocking on your door, requesting your financial information. That is the idea many people have when they think of how an audit begins. Actually, most audits begin with a letter from the IRS notifying you that they have questions about your filing.
  • Respond to that letter in a timely manner. It is easy to procrastinate, or to just toss the letter aside and ignore the problem. However, it greatly benefits you to quickly respond. If you lag behind, you could be disqualified for certain protocols, or the IRS may begin automatically enacting the audit without your input.
  • Last but not least, be poised throughout the process. Do not lose your temper. Be as precise and organized as you can when dealing with the IRS, and have all of your necessary paperwork ready.

Source: CNN, "How to survive a tax audit," Blake Ellis, April 24, 2013