Being audited by the IRS is the stuff of nightmares. Unfortunately, facing an audit is much more common than people think. If you are selected for an audit, you should not panic. An audit does not have to land you in serious trouble with the IRS. Below are some tips to help you get through a tax audit without making things worse.
Do not be rude to the auditor
Your mother likely taught you to be polite, and that advice does not only apply in easy situations. Remember the auditor is doing his or her job and is not out to get you. Make things easier on everyone and treat the auditor politely.
Do not volunteer extra information
Being polite does not mean you need to offer up more information than requested. When you can, answer yes or no. If you do not know the answer, tell the auditor that. Make sure you know exactly what information he or she is requesting and then only produce those documents. This also applies to other years of your tax returns. You only need to provide the tax return information the auditor requests.
Do not be dishonest or misleading
Again, your mother was right. You should tell the truth. It is possible the auditor will ask you questions he or she knows the answer to, and answering dishonestly will only make you more suspect. Do not offer up any extra information.
Do have all requested paperwork organized
You want to provide all the paperwork requested. Having it organized will make the process move more smoothly. It may also show the auditor you have nothing to hide. If you are missing some documents, a verbal explanation may be accepted. The IRS understands that few people keep perfect records.
According to Market Watch, audits typically end in three ways. One way an audit ends is with no change to your return. Another way is you agree with the auditor’s proposed changes to the return. It is also possible you may disagree with the suggested changes. If you disagree, you can ask to meet with an IRS manager, appeal your audit examination report with the IRS, or take the issue to tax court.