Florida IRS Audit Attorney
Get Help from a Skilled Tax Lawyer in Florida
Being presented with notice from the IRS that you are subject to an audit can be a terrifying experience. You may be unsure of your next steps or what you can do to protect yourself. The positive side is that you are not alone when it comes to dealing with the IRS. The Law Offices of Darrin T. Mish, P.A. has assisted thousands of clients in resolving tax issues, including audits. Our Florida IRS audit attorney has the experience and knowledge to direct you through the audit process while protecting your rights.
What Is an IRS Audit?
An IRS audit is an examination of your tax return to ensure that your organization's accounts or individual accounts and financial data were reported correctly in accordance with tax laws. The IRS conducts audits to ensure that taxpayers comply with tax laws and to maintain public trust in the fairness of the tax system. The IRS has the authority to audit your tax return for three years after it is filed. If the IRS suspects an error, it has the authority to audit your return for additional years; however, they seldom look back more than six years.
Types of IRS Audits
The least serious kind of IRS audit. The IRS will send you a letter seeking additional information or documentation to back up the claims on your tax return. You have the option of responding to the letter by mail or by making an appointment with the IRS. You are not required to meet with the IRS in person if you do not wish to.
This is more serious than the correspondence audit. The IRS will request that you visit one of its local offices to meet with an auditor. You will be required to bring specific paperwork. During the audit, the IRS will scrutinize your tax return in greater detail and will question you about the items on your return. You are welcome to bring a Florida tax attorney or other representative to the meeting.
This is the most serious type of audit. The IRS will send an auditor to your home or business to examine your tax return. The auditor will ask you questions about the items on your return and ask to see certain documents. You can bring a tax attorney or other representative with you to the meeting.
What Triggers an IRS Audit?
There are many reasons why the IRS may choose to audit your tax return. In some cases, the IRS may audit your return simply because it was selected at random. However, in most cases, the IRS audits a return because it believes that the taxpayer has made a mistake or intentionally underreported their income. The IRS uses a computer program to analyze tax returns and identify those that are most likely to contain errors. A score is assigned to each tax return based on the likelihood that it contains errors. The higher the score, the more likely the return will be audited.
There are several factors that can increase your chances of being audited, including:
- Errors on Your Tax Return: Common errors include math mistakes, failing to report all of your income, and claiming deductions or credits that you are not eligible for.
- High Income: The IRS audits less than 1% of all tax returns, but it audits nearly 5% of returns with an income of $1 million or more.
- Self-Employment: Self-employed individuals are more likely to make errors on their tax returns and underreport their income.
- Large Deductions: The IRS has data on the average deductions for each income level. If your deductions are significantly higher than the average for your income level, the IRS may audit your return.
- Home Office Deduction: The IRS has found that many taxpayers claim this deduction when they are not eligible for it.
- Charitable Deductions: The IRS has found that many taxpayers inflate the value of the items they donate to charity.
- Foreign Bank Accounts: The IRS has been cracking down on taxpayers who fail to report their foreign bank accounts.
What Happens During an IRS Audit?
If you are being audited by the IRS, you will receive a letter in the mail notifying you of the audit. The letter will explain which items on your tax return are being audited and what documents you need to provide to support those items. The letter will also explain your rights as a taxpayer and how to contact the IRS to schedule an appointment.
During the audit, the IRS will:
- Ask you questions about the items on your tax return
- Ask you to provide additional information or documentation to support those items
After the audit, the IRS will:
- Accept Your Tax Return: The IRS will accept your tax return if it agrees with the items on your return. You will not have to pay any additional taxes or penalties.
- Propose Changes to Your Tax Return: The IRS will propose changes to your tax return if it disagrees with the items on your return. The IRS will send you a letter explaining the proposed changes and how much additional tax you owe. If you agree with the proposed changes, you can sign the letter and return it to the IRS. If you disagree with the proposed changes, you can request a meeting with the auditor's manager or file an appeal with the IRS Office of Appeals.
- Send You a Notice of Deficiency: The IRS will send you a notice of deficiency if you do not respond to the letter or if you disagree with the proposed changes. The notice of deficiency will explain how much additional tax you owe and how to file a petition with the U.S. Tax Court. f you do not file a petition, the IRS will send you a bill for the additional tax.
How to Survive an IRS Audit
Being audited by the IRS can be a stressful experience. However, there are several things you can do to survive the audit and protect yourself.
Here are some tips for surviving an IRS audit:
- Don't Ignore the Audit: The worst thing you can do is ignore the audit. The IRS will not go away if you ignore it. In fact, the IRS will become more aggressive and may take collection action against you. You should respond to the audit letter as soon as possible and contact a tax attorney for help.
- Don't Lie to the IRS: You should never lie to the IRS. Lying to the IRS is a crime and can result in criminal charges. If you don't know the answer to a question, you should tell the auditor that you don't know.
- Don't Volunteer Information: You should only answer the questions that the auditor asks you. You should not volunteer any additional information. The auditor is not your friend and is not trying to help you. The auditor is trying to find evidence that you made a mistake or intentionally underreported your income.
- Don't Sign Anything: You should never sign anything without first consulting with a tax attorney. The auditor may ask you to sign a consent form allowing the IRS to contact third parties to obtain additional information about your tax return. You should not sign this form without first consulting with a seasoned tax audit lawyer in Florida.
- Don't Go to the Audit Alone: You should bring a professional Florida IRS tax audit attorney with you to the audit. The tax attorney can help you answer the auditor's questions and protect your rights.
- Don't Be Afraid to Disagree with the Auditor: You should not be afraid to disagree with the auditor. The auditor is not always right and may make mistakes. If you disagree with the auditor, you can request a meeting with the auditor's manager or file an appeal with the IRS Office of Appeals.
How Our Florida IRS Audit Lawyer Can Help
At the Law Offices of Darrin T. Mish, P.A., we have helped thousands of clients resolve their tax problems, including audits. Our Florida IRS audit attorney has the experience and knowledge to help you navigate the audit process and protect your rights. We will review your tax return and the IRS's proposed changes and help you decide how to respond. We will do everything we can to get the proposed changes reduced or eliminated.
- Our Florida IRS audit lawyer can help you:
- Respond to the audit letter
- Prepare for the audit
- Represent you at the audit
- Respond to the proposed changes
- Request a meeting with the auditor's manager
- File an appeal with the IRS Office of Appeals
- Represent you at the meeting or appeal
- Present evidence to support your position
- Get the proposed changes reduced or eliminated
Don't face the IRS alone. Call our office at (813) 295-7648 to schedule a consultation with our Florida IRS audit attorney.
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