What You Need to Know About IRS Tax Audits

The Reality of an IRS Audit: Why You Need the Services of a Tax Lawyer ASAP

reviewed by Claudia Grant
September 26, 2023

Instances Where You Need the Expertise of an IRS Audit Lawyer

If there are cons to hiring an IRS audit lawyer, the pros and benefits far outweigh them. Here’s how this tax professional can guide you through the process.

In 2023, the IRS initiated 3.8 audits for every 1,000 tax returns filed. In some cases, an audit happens through an automatic computer action. But often, an IRS audit results from a more severe tax issue.

Finding out the IRS is planning an audit can feel terrifying and overwhelming. Yet, with the right kind of help, the audit can be navigated in a way that protects your interests. 

If you’re facing an audit, you might wonder what an IRS audit lawyer does and how they could help you. Read on to learn more.

What Is an IRS Audit?

Indeed, the term tax audit comes with weighty negative connotations. So, what does a tax audit mean exactly?

It means that the IRS has decided there’s a reason to reexamine or review the taxes a person or business previously filed with them. 

The IRS would opt to start an audit because they feel the data might be incorrect in the tax filing. 

What Is an IRS Audit Lawyer?

An IRS audit lawyer is a legal specialist well-versed in tax issues. This type of attorney specializes in tax laws. 

They can provide the necessary guidance and experience to anyone who must face the IRS and go through the audit process. 

Ultimately, the tax attorney’s goal would be to resolve the audit and save you as much money as possible. 

Tax Attorney Vs. CPA

Many people see a certified public accountant or CPA when it’s time to file yearly taxes.

CPAs are experts on taxes, and taxpayers go to a CPA hoping they find a way to lower their tax burden. 

So, while a tax attorney and a CPA are both highly knowledgeable about taxes, a tax attorney knows the legal ramifications of tax issues. 

Issues a Tax Attorney Can Handle

It’s not uncommon to have questions about taxes or how something should be filed with the IRS. Many people have tax preparers who can address these questions. 

There are some specific times when you should contact a tax lawyer. You want to get your tax problems answered by an expert. 

As you navigate your audit, it may come to light that you owe money to the IRS that you aren’t prepared to pay. The tax lawyer can work on your behalf with the IRS and set up a repayment plan to get the taxes paid. 

Your tax lawyer may be able to work with the IRS to arrange something called an offer in compromise. While the IRS is not quick to offer this option, it can save taxpayers lots of money.

The offer in compromise would rarely, if ever, be offered to a taxpayer whom a tax lawyer doesn’t represent since they are tricky to negotiate. 

Sometimes in the later stages of an audit, you’re already piling up late fees. A tax attorney can help get a penalty abatement. This is when the IRS will waive some or all of the late fees added to your account. 

It might not be a matter of a tax evasion case. Some people don’t pay their taxes because they simply don’t have the funds to do it. The IRS has a status known as currently uncollectible. This term applies when taxpayers can prove they don’t have the funds to pay. 

Of course, this is not easy to get the IRS to recognize, and a taxpayer would have more luck with a tax attorney negotiating on their behalf. 

What Happens If You Handle the Audit Yourself?

Some people will hope to avoid the cost of hiring a tax lawyer and go into an audit with a tax lawyer. This is a mistake. 

As an individual, you don’t know the tax codes or tax laws. You won’t know the best way to communicate with the IRS, so the audit results favor you.

You always have the right to negotiate with the IRS. Yet, you won’t get far if you don’t approach the audit being reasonable and willing to work out the issue. 

Penalties Associated With an Audit

The IRS will go over your tax filing. They might find no errors, and they audit it over. They might find errors that need to be addressed. 

If you agree with the audit findings, you’ll likely have some penalties to pay. The IRS is quick to add sentences to tax bills not paid. 

More severe cases of tax evasion can even result in jail time. 

Benefits of Working With a Tax Attorney

Many people will feel victimized by the IRS and want to stand alone on their own. Yet, there are a host of benefits to working with an IRS audit attorney worth considering before you decide to navigate your case on your own. 

First, a tax attorney is an expert in tax law. Tax law changes constantly over time, and you may not have the depth of knowledge to know how a tax law could impact your case. Your tax attorney can help you learn how to take advantage of certain tax laws pertaining to your case. 

A tax attorney will dig into your case to better understand what made the IRS decide to proceed with an audit. They can tell you what to expect through the process and will likely proceed. 

Most tax lawyers would want to start with a deep dive audit into your taxes to understand your tax situation best. This will help them as you communicate with the IRS through your audit. 

They can also represent you and ensure your legal rights are being protected. If an IRS auditor is evaluating your records, the tax audit lawyer can help them see the records and information from your point of view. 

If the audit doesn’t go in your favor and there are consequences, the tax lawyer can help you understand your options and negotiate on your behalf with the IRS. 

Get the Help You Need from an IRS Audit Lawyer

If you find yourself staring down an audit with the IRS, don’t go it alone. You need the expertise and experience that an IRS audit lawyer can provide. 

An IRS audit attorney will know how to proceed with your case and can help you navigate the audit. Get connected with Tax Relief Professional so we can get started helping with your audit. 

Clinton F Wassor

Clinton F. Wasser, holding a Master of Science in Legal Studies of Taxation, brings a wealth of expertise in tax planning and compliance to his writing. With a career rooted in the workings of the tax landscape, Clinton navigates difficulties with finesse. Beyond his professional accomplishments, he generously volunteers his time to educate high school students about the nuances of taxes. As an author, Clinton marries his real-world experience with a passion for simplifying tax concepts. He has found that his technique empowers readers to better understand the world of taxation.
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