1. Home
  2.  | 
  3. Firm News
  4.  | How does the IRS notify you of an audit?

How does the IRS notify you of an audit?

On Behalf of | May 17, 2022 | Firm News

For the IRS, a tax return audit is a way to begin closing the gap between the calculation of what was owed and what was collected. They endeavor to correct errors and clarify inconsistencies through the audit process. For the average taxpayer, however, notification of an audit is generally a frightening, overwhelming experience.

While the IRS reserves the right to go back six years to audit prior tax returns, their goal is to complete this process quickly and efficiently. Commonly, they strive to audit tax returns as soon as possible. This often occurs within two years after filing. If the agency selects a tax return for audit, they will notify you as soon as possible by mail.

What does this notification entail?

The IRS will notify a taxpayer of an audit through mail correspondence. They do not traditionally attempt to contact individuals over the phone, email, social media or other electronic methods. Often, the notification letter will provide instructions regarding:

  • What issues or questions they have regarding the tax return.
  • What paperwork or documentation you must provide to clarify the audit triggers.
  • What type of audit process will be followed – correspondence audit, field audit or branch office audit.

If you receive a notification letter from the IRS, it is imperative that you act quickly. With the guidance of an experienced legal professional, it is possible to work directly with the IRS to clear up any inconsistencies, correct any errors and remove any red flags that might have triggered the audit in the first place.

Even though popular media generally portrays the IRS as a fearsome entity, they often work with taxpayers and their chosen legal professionals to correct any errors and relieve debt. From an offer in compromise to innocent spouse relief, the agency’s goal is often to simply work out a resolution rather than take a purely punitive stance.