Chief Tax Information Officer
Published on: July 18, 2019
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An audit is an official review of your tax return to verify income, credits, and deductions. These inquiries can range from a mail audit – a request to send documents clarifying specific line items – to an office or field audit, an interview with the IRS at their office or your home or business. The IRS selects taxpayers through a random process, as well as intentionally, based on the information provided. Taxpayers with complicated returns and higher incomes may stand a greater chance of being audited.
Be truthful when providing information to the IRS – it’s a crime to lie to a federal agent. If you don’t agree with the penalties and taxes assessed by the auditor, ask to present your case to the audit manager. They may agree with your defense, saving you time and money. If they don’t, you can file an appeal with the IRS Office of Appeals for further review.
If you end up owing money, pay it as soon as you can. This will help minimize penalties or interest which continue to accrue until the full tax bill is paid. If you are unable to pay your tax bill in full right away, the IRS does offer Installment Agreements. However, the IRS Installment Agreement has a fee, charges interest based on the Treasury rate, and continues to assess penalties and interest on the unpaid balance until the total is paid in full.
If you are facing an IRS tax audit, remember: Don’t panic. Just get organized and be prepared to present your case truthfully and confidently.
About the Author
Mark Steber is Senior Vice President and Chief Tax Information Officer for Jackson Hewitt. With over 30 years of experience, he oversees tax service delivery, quality assurance and tax law adherence. Mark is Jackson Hewitt’s national spokesperson and liaison to the Internal Revenue Service and other government authorities. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), holds registrations in Alabama and Georgia, and is an expert on consumer income taxes including electronic tax and tax data protection.