Getting a letter from the IRS marked "official government business" might be one of the more frightening experiences that we have to face. Immediately, our thoughts may turn to the possibility of being audited and very few of us are prepared for that prospect. Fortunately, receiving a letter from the Internal Revenue Service does not always mean that you are being audited. In fact, there are many cases in which this letter simply is letting you know that a mistake was made on your tax return that needs to be corrected. On the downside, it is also possible that an audit may be taking place, in which case you must prepare yourself properly.
One of the more common questions that I hear from people who have received such a letter in the mail is if it is necessary to hire a tax attorney to handle the audit process. Hiring an attorney can be an expensive prospect and may further complicate matters in some cases. Fortunately, handling a problem with the IRS, including any audit for past tax returns can easily be done without the use of a tax attorney. It is necessary for you to have qualified help, however, in order to expedite the process and to reduce the possibility that you will end up paying extra because of the audit that is taking place.
Without the use of a tax attorney, you will need to use an enrolled agent or CPA to represent you through the audit process. Not only can they help you with discussing matters with the IRS directly, they are trained in tax law, allowing you to be represented in a way that will be beneficial to you. After all, the tax code is difficult for most people to understand, but enrolled agent or CPAs are able to navigate the tax code effectively to help you through the process.
Most people are not familiar with enrolled agents until they are facing the possibility of a tax audit. The fact is that an enrolled agent must go through rigorous training in order to be qualified to represent you. In fact, enrolled agents have been around for well over a century, helping individuals like you who are having difficulties with their taxes.
Once you have the proper representation, it is important for you have enough information to go through the audit process. If you have kept good records, it will not be difficult for you to gather this information. Unfortunately, many of us have not kept the necessary records, but it may be possible to re-create the tax year in question. Using your existing tax return, you may be able to go back and re-create what was claimed on the return. Be sure to be as accurate as possible and review the information with your CPA or enrolled agent before contacting the IRS.
Finally, you will want to ensure that you keep things on a professional level throughout the process. The IRS auditor is going to assume that you have done something wrong on your taxes, so it is necessary for you to prove otherwise. If you provide the necessary information and have the enrolled agent or CPA to assist you, it is possible that you may not have to pay any extra taxes for the years in question. In fact, there are some cases in which the IRS may end up owing you money.