Staunch the Sweat (slightly): IRS Ideas on How to Handle an Audit
IRS agents and EA took questions in March on tips for handling the audit. Among the questions raised (and summarized responses): How can you adjust an audit which does not appear to be appropriate (ask the IRS to allow you to bring reocrds to an office rather than using a correspondence audit), who should ocme to an IRS office audit (bringing the client may shorten the audit period), what are collection options if the audit determines tax is due (options include offers in compromise and monthly installment plans), what options does the tax professional have if he/she does not understand or disagrees with the result (ask for a private conference, file for IRS appeals division), is a field audit more omission than an office audit (not always), is the Fast-Track settlement program available where I live (it presently is on a two-year test in Central New Jersey, Chicago, Philadelphia, St. Paul and Houston), can the scope be adjusted as the audit proceeds (yes) and can the practitioner offer to amend the return during the audit (yes, though the auditor may refuse if there is suspicion of fraud). Tax Talk Today has the full text for readers registered with TTT.
Nothing will fully alleviate the anxiety associated with a tax audit, but knowledge of these items combined with having the assistance of a competent tax professional can help somewhat.