Steps to take after an IRS audit

Those in Maryland or anywhere else who receive an IRS audit notice may feel anxious or scared. The first step that a taxpayer should take is to read the notice to determine what the IRS is asking for. It is also important to note that a person should not automatically assume that he or she owes money to the government. Instead, it may be best to research the situation fully to confirm claims made in the notice.

When communicating with the government, it is a good idea to be honest to improve the chances of wrapping up an audit in a timely manner. If an agent believes that a taxpayer is lying or not being fully honest, it is possible that he or she could seek more information. That may prolong the audit or widen its scope, which could result in an unfavorable outcome for an individual.

It is also in a taxpayer's best interest to respond to a notice from the IRS in a timely manner. Doing so can make it easier to get an offer in compromise or otherwise obtain leeway in an audit proceeding. Furthermore, making an agent's job easier to complete could be a method to obtaining leniency or a favorable outcome in the matter. If necessary, taxpayers might want to hire an attorney or accountant to help with the audit.

Prior to filing taxes, it can be worthwhile to review that all information on a return is accurate. If a taxpayer discovers an error after filing, it may be possible to amend a return. Doing so might reduce the financial penalties associated with a mistake. An attorney may help a person negotiate with the IRS in the event that an error results in an audit of an individual's tax return.

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