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Get prepared for your audit by the Internal Revenue Service

Taxes are a topic that some people truly hate talking about. They can be stressful, and it can seem like all your hard work results in sending money to the government.

If you're sent a letter that the IRS is going to complete an audit, it's time to take steps to prepare. This is something you may want to include your attorney in, since protecting yourself against the Internal Revenue Service is important.

What do you need to do to prepare for an audit?

When you're sent a letter that the IRS will be completing an audit on your taxes, you'll have 30 days to respond (in general). You should make sure to read the notice and follow the notice's instructions.

Prior to the time when the IRS begins the audit, you should organize all your records. You need to replace missing records and should only bring the items that the IRS asks for. Sometimes, audits don't look at everything but just a few documents that the IRS feels it's missing or wants to double-check.

Remember, you should only provide copies of your documents. If you include the originals, there is a chance that you could lose them and not get them returned to you.

Finally, remember that the IRS agent is just doing their job. Stay on track and only answer questions they ask. Be respectful, so that the situation can be managed more easily.

Does an IRS audit mean I did something wrong?

No, a IRS audit doesn't mean you necessarily did anything wrong. Audits are usually random. Someone who has all their documents in place can easily be audited, while those who are missing items may have trouble with the audit. However, if you have nothing to hide with your taxes, the entire process should be straightforward.

If you're concerned about the audit or are worried about the deductions you've claimed in the past, then it may be time to work with a tax attorney. Your tax attorney has a history of working with the IRS and has an understanding of tax law. In the case that your audit doesn't go well, your attorney may be able to negotiate for you and to help you work out a settlement with the IRS, so you don't find yourself owing more than you can handle. In most cases, these situations can be managed, so that you can move on quickly.

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