The IRS conducts millions of audits on American citizens each year. The purpose of an IRS audit is to check whether an individual has correctly submitted their tax returns and whether they have engaged in any type of tax evasion or fraud. IRS employees must investigate whether all the numbers add up, and ensure that the returns are accurate.
However, they are also required to respect your rights during an IRS audit and ensure that you receive the full protection of the law. It is important that you are aware of your legal rights during IRS audits and do not receive unfair treatment. An experienced tax lawyer can help ensure that your rights are protected during the audit process and help get a favorable outcome in your case.
Ronald Arthur Stearns Sr. PLLC
Ronald Arthur Stearns Sr. PLLC has significant experience handling IRS audits, and he knows how to ensure that your rights as a taxpayer are guaranteed. His priority is protecting Americans against unfair treatment by government institutions and ensuring that they get the full protection of tax laws.
He can advise you on your rights, help you understand the potential outcomes of your case, gather documents on your behalf, file an appeal if necessary, and provide fierce legal representation.
The Audit Process
All Texas citizens are required to file a tax return each year detailing the amount of money they made, deductions, losses, and the tax that they owe. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) examines these tax returns to ensure everything is in order. Because of the significant number of tax returns submitted each year, the IRS can only conduct audits on a few of these returns. Audits are conducted on a random basis or based on red flags that pop up to auditors, such as major losses and deductions or miscalculations of federal tax liability.
If you are the subject of an audit, you will receive a notification by mail. The IRS will conduct the tax audit through mail correspondence entirely or through an in-person examination. You will be required to submit extra supporting documents to provide evidence of your expenses, itemized deductions, and other documents relating to your taxes. These documents will help prove that your tax return is valid and that all expenses and deductions are legitimate.
The IRS will examine the documentation you give them, ask questions about your taxes, and determine whether there should be any changes made, whether you should receive penalties or interest, or whether you should be subject to a civil or criminal investigation. The length of time the process takes depends entirely on your particular situation. If you want to appeal a decision, an experienced audit attorney can help you through this process.
What Are Your Rights During an IRS Tax Audit?
An IRS audit is controlled by several different regulations and bodies, including the US Tax Code, Internal Revenue Service rules, and policy manuals. All of these authorities ensure that an audit is carried out fairly and in accordance with the law.
Taxpayers’ rights are laid out under Section 7803 of the U.S. Tax Code and are in place to ensure that taxpayers are not treated unfairly during an audit. IRS employees and other agencies engaging in audits should protect these rights at all times. These rights include:
The Right to Be Informed
As a taxpayer, you have the right to be informed at all stages of an IRS audit process. This includes receiving notification of an audit, and access to information allowing them to comply with tax laws. Taxpayers have the right to receive a clear explanation of all audit procedures and laws surrounding tax documents, notices, and correspondence. Taxpayers should be clearly informed throughout the entire process of an IRS audit to ensure that they can comply with these laws.
The Right to Quality Service
When dealing with the IRS, a taxpayer reserves the right to receive quality, prompt, courteous, and professional service. If they receive inadequate or improper service, they reserve the right to discuss this with an IRS supervisor or manager.
The Right to Challenge
The right to challenge the IRS’s position on audit findings means taxpayers can file an objection to any reply given by the IRS. If you decide to challenge the IRS findings, you will need to provide sufficient supporting documents and evidence.
The Right To Pay No More Than What is Due
Taxpayers have a right to pay the correct amount of tax. This correct amount includes the tax that they legally owe, interest, penalties, and any criminal fines, if applicable. The IRS cannot claim any more than what is owed by a taxpayer in accordance with the law.
The Right to Appeal
In addition to the right to challenge the IRS, taxpayers may file an appeal against an IRS decision relating to their tax matters. If you do not agree with audit findings, you may bring an appeal in an independent forum, through a judicial review process, or to the federal courts. You also reserve the right to receive any appeal decision in writing.
The Right to Privacy
Taxpayers rights include the right to privacy and the right to have a non-intrusive audit. An audit, examination, or enforcement should only be as intrusive as absolutely necessary and should follow correct procedures and laws at all times. The IRS is required to follow all regulations on search and seizure and the gathering of evidence.
The Right to Finality
A taxpayer is entitled to receive a final decision on any matter involving their taxes. They should receive information on the statute of limitations, how long they have to file an appeal, and should receive a final notification of the IRS audit decision.
The Right to Confidentiality
It is important that taxpayers have complete confidentiality when going through an audit. IRS employees are prohibited from disclosing taxpayer information to a third party unless they have specific authorization by law or the taxpayer themself.
This can include handling matters through personal email accounts (as provided under the Tax Hikes Act 2015), sharing information with agencies or third parties, or mishandling information. A taxpayer can take action against an employee that does not respect their right to confidentiality.
The Right to Retain Representation
All taxpayers reserve the right to have legal representation throughout the course of their audit. Tax lawyers that have a deep understanding of audit rules and the tax system will be able to guide you through the process, ensure that you are duly informed, protect your best interests, and help ensure that you do not face changes to your tax band or fines.
The authorized representative that you choose to represent your case must be permitted to practice before the IRS, such as a certified public accountant, a tax attorney, or an enrolled agent. Ronald Arthur Stearns Sr. PLLC is recognized by the State Bar of Texas and he has been handling tax matters for over 26 years. He has the skills necessary to represent you throughout your audit.
The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System
Arguably the most important of the ten distinct rights, taxpayers have a right to a fair and just tax system that provides assistance to taxpayers. This includes consistently assessing its faults, ability to pay, liabilities, and any issues with communication.
What Are Your Rights During an Audit – Ronald Arthur Stearns Sr. PLLC
Being selected for an IRS audit can be extremely stressful. Often, people are unaware of their legal rights during the process and, as a result, do not exercise these rights. However, IRS auditors have a legal obligation to ensure that your rights are respected throughout the entire process of an audit and that you are not mistreated. The best way to ensure that your rights are respected during an IRS audit is to hire legal representation from an experienced tax lawyer.
Ronald Arthur Stearns Sr. PLLC has been helping Texas citizens with tax debt, audits, and litigation issues for many years, and he has a deep understanding of how audits work. He wants to help ensure that you get a positive outcome in your case by protecting your legal rights and guiding you through the process effectively.
He can advise you on your rights, communicate with auditors on your behalf, submit your documentation, file an appeal if necessary, and defend you against any civil or criminal tax violations.
Call our law firm at 210-853-2135 to schedule a consultation with tax attorney Ronald Arthur Stearns Sr. PLLC today!