If you have ever received one of those dreaded IRS Audit Documentation requests, you'll know how trepidating it can be. It is common to find many taxpayers not be able to produce the documentation required to back up some of their claims in their tax returns. Then there are those who knowingly make inaccurate claims on their tax returns without proper documents to back them up. If you have received lots of IRS audit documentation requests, don't panic. Here is what you can do.
Firstly, make it a habit to save every shred of proof of purchase or receipt. When you bought that snow blower, you may not have realized that it could serve as a tax write-off, but now that you do, you need that receipt. Sure, doing this would be tedious but it's necessary. Saving things is even more important if you work from home. Everything from your water bill to your house rental can be tax deductible and in most cases, the IRS will allow it but you have to have documents.
Secondly, if necessary you could request for a time extension. You have the right to ask for more time to gather the IRS audit documentation requests but there is a limit to this before you have to produce whatever documents the IRS requires of you. If you have a box of paperwork at your summer home and you need to go and get it, do that, but don't cancel a meeting with an IRS agent to do so. You could face heavy fines and even a reproof from a judge.
The next thing you can do is to obtain duplicate copies of your proof of purchase. They are kept on record for tax purposes of the store and all you will need is an approximate date when you made your purchase and the credit card or debit card that the transaction was made with. The computers at the store can almost certainly cross-reference the purchase and print out a receipt for you. You would likely find this technology from most major establishments but maybe not a small single unit retail shop.
Finally, when it comes to the IRS, honesty is always the best policy. If some of your deductions were false or slightly adjusted figures, be upfront about it otherwise when it is discovered in the audit process it would be worse for you. The worst that can happen is that the tax cut you wanted is declined.
Darrin T. Mish is a veteran, nationally recognized tax attorney who has focused on providing IRS help to taxpayers for over a decade. He regularly travels the country training other attorneys, CPAs and enrolled agents on how to handle their toughest cases with the IRS. He is highly ranked among the top attorneys in the country, with an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell and a perfect 10 on Avvo.com. Martindale-Hubbell has also honored him with a listing in their Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. He is a member of the American Society of IRS Problem Solvers and the Tax Freedom Institute. With clients on every continent but Antarctica, he has what it takes to solve your IRS problems no matter where you live in the world. If you would like more information about his practice and how he can help you, please call his office at (813) 229-7100 or toll free at 1-888-GET-MISH.