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Why Shouldn’t You Try to Handle an IRS Audit Yourself and Call an Attorney Later if Things Don’t Go Well?

Have you received notification of an IRS audit?  Will it be a field audit or office audit?  Why shouldn’t you try to handle an IRS audit yourself and call an attorney later if things don’t go well?

The simple answer is it will be too late to do anything about it, and you will simply be forced to write the IRS a huge check.  Why?

The two primary reasons are:

  • The nature of the information that must be “in the file” if you intend to appeal the Notice of Determination in your audit
  • The skill and tactics employed by IRS revenue agents to get you to divulge more information than you should that leads to an expanded audit scope significantly increasing the amount you will owe

The IRS revenue officer working your audit already has a strategy and a goal revenue amount they expect to generate from your audit before ever reaching out to contact you.  They are under a lot of pressure to generate as much revenue as possible from your audit.  Most taxpayers provide too much information in response to each request from the IRS, hoping to look “transparent and cooperative” in the hopes of gaining the trust of the revenue agent.  This simply won’t work.  In fact, the IRS then uses this additional information (that never should have been disclosed) against you to enlarge the scope of the audit into previous years.  IRS agents are highly skilled expert interrogators and are backed by incredible powers to seize your home, assets, bank accounts, business and income.  You do not want to face them alone.

Once the audit is underway it is often too late to bring in an attorney.  The experienced IRS audit attorneys at Allen Barron understand IRS strategies and will stand up for your interests.  We will hold them accountable to all laws, the US tax code and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to make sure there is no “audit creep.”  Once an audit is in process we cannot make sure that additional data is provided when areas of disagreement arise with the revenue officer.  We generally appeal all findings in the notice of determination from an audit to the next level of authority at the IRS.  This most often results in a reduction in the amount ordered by the revenue agent during the audit.  However, an appeal of an IRS is limited to the information contained with the IRS file associated with the audit itself.  We cannot go back in hind sight and say “this should have been included,” or “yes, but that doesn’t reflect these additional facts.”

After decades of experience managing IRS audits I can tell you that when you try to handle an IRS audit yourself you will pay far more than what we charge to represent you.  Most taxpayers believe in “hope” as a strategy.  Hope is not a strategy with the IRS.

If you have been contacted by the IRS for an audit we invite you to contact us for a free consultation at 866-631-3470.  You should never attempt to try to handle an IRS audit yourself but should contact an experienced San Diego IRS audit attorney at Allen Barron.