What are my chances of surviving an IRS audit?

September 26, 2019 by Rhonda Guillory, EA
File folders - one with the word Audit on the tab

My friend “Joan” recently texted me the dreaded words: “The IRS is auditing me!” Joan had prepared her own tax return and now, more than a year later, the IRS was requesting documentation to support some of her tax return entries. Why now? The timing could not be worse! Joan didn’t know how she could survive an IRS audit on top of dealing with challenging family and health matters. Joan was nervous and concerned that she may have done something wrong and that she may not be able to locate the documents the IRS asked for. Would she owe money to the IRS that she could not afford to pay, or, worse yet, would the IRS come knocking on her door? Like most people, Joan had heard horror stories about IRS audits.

I’m glad that Joan reached out to me. We arranged to meet as soon as possible so I could look at the audit notice that she received and let her know what she needed to do. Although I had not prepared her tax return, as a tax professional who has provided audit representation services to hundreds of taxpayers in situations like Joan’s, I knew exactly how to help her. I showed Joan how she would survive her IRS audit by explaining the audit notice, the process, and what to expect. When I reviewed Joan’s tax return with her, I discovered a minor error on the tax return that may have caused the audit. I estimated that, due to the error, she would need to repay some of the refund that she received, plus interest. Joan was pleased to hear that she shouldn’t be assessed a penalty and that the IRS wouldn't be knocking on her door because of her error. While paying money back to the IRS is the last thing most people want to do, Joan now understands that the refund she received was larger than it should have been due to her misunderstanding of how one of the tax credits works. On a positive note, because Joan kept all the documents that she used to prepare her tax return in one place, it was easy for us to confirm that she had the documents the IRS requested. This also meant that she could respond before the deadline imposed by the IRS. Joan’s worries about her IRS audit seemed to melt away by the end of our meeting.

Responding to an IRS audit is not the easiest thing to do. Wouldn’t it be great if we all had a friend to call to help us? Surviving an audit is easier with professional representation. An easy and cost-effective way to get audit representation is through TaxAudit's prepaid audit defense memberships: https://www.taxaudit.com/prepaid-audit-defense

Joan is currently waiting for a response from the IRS to the letter and documents she sent to them. Knowing what to expect gives Joan some peace of mind while she waits. Having a patient, experienced professional who can provide guidance during the audit process gives Joan the confidence that she can and will survive her IRS audit.

If the tax return for which you purchased a membership is audited, TaxAudit's professional audit representatives will defend your tax return through the entire audit process. 

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Tags: audit, IRS, IRS letter



Rhonda D. Guillory, EA
Learning and Development Manager


Rhonda was a Seasonal Tax Return Reviewer at TaxAudit before joining the permanent staff as an Audit Representative in 2009. She has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and worked in the Information Technology field for 15 years before making a career change. Since transitioning to the field of income tax in 2003, she has prepared and analyzed hundreds of tax returns. Rhonda enjoys helping taxpayers and tax professionals learn and understand the fascinating world of income taxes. Currently, she is the Learning and Development Manager.


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