If someone gets audited, your immediately assumption would be that the individual in question is in trouble and will have to pay the IRS some extra money because of an inconsistency or error on their tax return. However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, people who are audited actually get money back from the IRS because the audit discovers that the IRS was not owed as much money as the taxpayer contributed.
Audits, in their most simplest form, are simply a “review” or “examination” of a past tax filing. This doesn’t inherently mean that the person had malicious intent when they made a mistake on a tax return, or that they committed a tax crime, or that they made a mistake at all. It just means that the IRS selected a tax return for review, and upon the completion of the examination process, a determination will be made about the tax return in question.
Remember that during the examination (i.e. the audit process) that you have rights as a taxpayer. You have a right to be treated with courtesy by the IRS, as well as a right to know why the IRS is auditing you. You also have the rights to be legally represented in addition to the ability to appeal the IRS decisions within the IRS and in court.
As we mentioned in a previous post, appeals are critical when tax litigation comes your way. With audits, the lesson is the same. You have rights and you should appeal audit decisions that you don’t agree with.