Setting the Record Straight: Four IRS Audit Myths

When it comes to the IRS, there is no shortage of horror stories to go around. While an IRS audit is certainly not pleasant to deal with, it is much better to know the truth about them than to live in fear about a myth. Read on to learn about four common myths about the IRS.

Doing Taxes Yourself Will Get You Audited

Many people like to go to professional tax companies when they file because they think that it reduces the chances of getting audited. While these companies can provide  good value, you can still be audited. Doing taxes yourself, especially if you use software like TurboTax or something similar, will not increase your audit risk… as long as you file properly. In fact, most software will do an “audit check” to see if there is anything in your taxes that might raise your risk.

Filing Near the Deadline Reduces the Risk

Another common myth is that if you wait until the last minute, the IRS will be swamped with returns and won’t audit you. People also think that the IRS may have used up their quota of audits by this point, so they will get a free pass. The fact is, the time or date that you file has nothing to do with your audit risks. You can file as soon as you have all your documents together without increasing the risk.

A Request for Information Means You’re Being Audited

If you’ve received a letter from the IRS requesting additional information, you might be worried that you are being audited. In reality, however, they often need paperwork or other proof of a claim to complete your return. In most cases, a request for information is just that and nothing more. However, it’s highly recommended that you speak to an IRS attorney at this point in order to evaluate the situation.

Filing an Amendment Triggers an Audit

If you have completed your filing, and then realize you forgot something or made a mistake, don’t worry. You can simply file an amendment to correct the error without any increased risk of an audit. In fact, the sooner you file the amendment the better because it can prevent or reduce any penalties or interest that may have been related to the error.

Nobody wants to be audited by the IRS. But if you’re facing an audit, rest assured that the audit process doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Give us a call today at  (610) 640-9481 and let us help!

Written by E. Morgan Maxwell

E. Morgan Maxwell

Since beginning his own firm, Mr. Maxwell has continued a tax-law oriented practice encompassing a wide range of transactions, planning and dispute resolution. His dispute resolution experience includes involvement at all levels of the Internal Revenue Service (Examinations, Appeals, Collections, Office of Professional Responsibility, the U.S. Tax Court), the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, the Tax Litigation Section of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, Common Pleas Court and local taxing jurisdictions in southeastern Pennsylvania.

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