How Taxes for Income and Properties Differ- a Tax Lawyer’s Column

It is never pleasant to find yourself subject to an IRS audit, but it’s a reality for many taxpayers throughout the year. With tax debt growing due to missed payments, late fees, and penalties, many taxpayers find themselves financially strapped when it comes time to pay their taxes. The IRS is not required to provide a taxpayer any means to defend against an audit, but this does not mean that the process can be avoided. In order for a taxpayer to successfully fight the IRS in this situation, he or she will need the assistance of an experienced tax attorney in Tennessee. There are several reasons why the presence of an attorney is critical to ensuring the best possible outcome when it comes to your IRS audit situation.

 

An attorney is often needed because the IRS will often improperly ask questions of tax returns. Questions like, “Did you make any changes to the preparation of your tax statements?” or “Did you enter information incorrectly on your tax returns?” The answers to these questions can determine whether an audit is warranted. If the taxpayer fails to timely file an application to extend his or her tax deductions before the end of the year, the refund is still subject to an audit.

 

Many taxpayers become stressed during an audit because they are confused as to what is going on. It may seem as if the IRS is looking over your shoulder, telling you how to handle your taxes. However, it is your tax debt attorney that is being responsible for ensuring that all of the appropriate tax filings have been made. This includes the filing of a federal tax return and all state tax returns. An audit is not a reflection of how well a person managing his or her finances manages his or her tax debt.

 

An attorney can help the client negotiate with the IRS for a reasonable settlement that eliminates the excessive amount of tax liability. There are a number of things to consider when discussing an audit with the IRS. The first thing to do is to request a copies of all federal tax records that will need to be turned over to the tax debt attorney. Federal tax records include a person’s Social Security number, birth date, birth place, mother’s maiden name, father’s full name and date of birth. In addition to the tax records, the audit could also demand copies of bank accounts, paystubs, investments, annuities, life insurance, tax refund form, foreign currency receipts, and more.

 

The IRS auditor will review the tax records to determine which of the taxpayers require additional assistance. If necessary, the audit process can extend into several weeks or even months. The IRS tax debt attorney can assist with the audit process from start to finish. Some taxpayers will ask their tax attorney to represent them throughout the audit process. Unfortunately, the cost of hiring a tax lawyer can be very high, so some people do choose to represent themselves during an audit with the IRS.

During the audit process, a taxpayer can expect the IRS to question every aspect of their financial lives, including past financial records, current financial records, all tax related documents, and any tax debt relief proposals or agreements. The IRS auditor will want to know if there is any discrepancy between the information provided by the client and the information recorded by the IRS. For example, if the client indicates that they had taken a mortgage out through a particular bank but do not indicate the bank, the auditor will want to verify this information directly. The audit process can be extremely frustrating and nerve wracking for those who do nothing but pay their taxes, but it is necessary in order to ensure the IRS is paying their fair share of the tax debt.