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Audits and the IRS: Protect your rights and interests

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sometimes completes audits on corporations or individuals. The point of an audit is to make sure that a person's finances are reported accurately and that the right amount of taxes are paid.

If you're going to receive an audit, you'll be notified by mail. At that point, the audit is either done through the mail or with an in-person interview. This is when your records are reviewed. You should keep all tax information for several years to make sure you have the documents for the correct year if you are audited. When asked to come to an audit, you need only the documents for the years being audited, not for others.

The IRS will request specific documents. Keep in mind that you are not obligated to provide any documents other than those requested by the IRS. You do not need to send additional documentation or information with the request and should not do so.

To make sure the IRS receives your response, you can ask for confirmation. You may also ask for a 30-day extension if you need time to gather documents beyond the initial requested time frame.

It's a good idea to talk to your attorney about your options for audit defense if you are going to be audited by the IRS. There are many things you should or should not do to make the process easier, and having the right information makes a difference. Our site has more on what you should do to avoid penalties from your audit and how you can best move forward.

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