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When audited, follow simple steps to get through it

Audits are not necessarily the end of the world for the person being audited, though you would be justified in feeling so. Audits can be incredibly punishing, and they can also be a massive time-sink for the individual under audit. So how do you survive an audit and what are your options during the process?

The first thing to realize is that most audits are done via mail. You will receive a notice from the IRS and they will inform you of the potential problem in your tax filing, while also asking for more information to substantiate what you have filed. You could then provide that information or try to address the problem by consulting with a professional tax attorney.

Documenting your claims and substantiating why you deduct certain things in your tax filing is important. This is why you should always have copies or proof for your deductions, and why you should also always have copies of your tax filings.

The last two things to remember during the audit process is that you don't have to give up any information that the IRS isn't asking for; and you also have the right to negotiate with the IRS to try to settle your audit.

The IRS, just like any other government agency, has a process to follow. If you follow the rules and uphold your rights during the audit process, the entire audit can progress easily and you can remedy the situation quickly.

Source: Motley Fool, "How to Survive a Tax Audit," Wendy Connick, April 7, 2017

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