If you’ve received a letter from the IRS in the mail notifying you that your tax return was selected for examination, it’s time to prepare for an audit. The experienced tax attorneys at Wiggam Law can help you gather appropriate documentation, respond correctly, and represent you throughout the audit process.
Each year, the IRS selects a number of individual and business returns for audit. Notice of an audit always comes in the form of a letter through the mail. If you receive such a letter, it is important to read it carefully, and follow all instructions by the deadlines noted in the letter.
IRS Audit Letter Sample
Most IRS audit letters begin by telling you that your return was selected for an “examination.” The letter will specify the form being audited, as well as tax years under review. It should also specify the items that have been identified for examination, such as a particular schedule.
If you are being audited by mail, the IRS tax audit letter will note the review is limited to a few items. These tend to be more straight-forward questions and might be related to:
- Underreported income
- Itemized deductions
- Proper recognition of dependents
- Filing status
- Credit eligibility
Response to a Mail-Audit Letter
For a mail audit, gather the supporting documentation requested by the IRS. This might include receipts and other paperwork to support your figures. Always send copies! If you are supporting itemized deductions, make sure your documents include the payee, amount paid, proof of payment, date, and a description. While credit card statements are acceptable documentation, they may not be detailed enough.
You should also include a written explanation of your position. Always respond by the response date, which is usually noted in the upper right hand corner of the IRS audit letter.
What Does an IRS Audit Letter Look Like?
If your return was selected for an in-person interview, the letter will be more detailed. It will include the same basics as a letter for a mail examination (tax year or years under review, forms to be audited, information to be examined, and your basic details, including legal name and Social Security number), but also have sections related to different aspects of the in-person meeting.
An IRS audit notice letter for an in-person or field audit may also include:
- Appointment date
- Appointment time
- Examination location
- Contact information for your agent
- Your agent’s employee identification number
- A date by which you must contact the agent to make any appointment changes
- Approximate length of the examination
- Who may attend the examination
- What to bring with you
The letter usually also references Form 4564 Information Document Request (IDR), which details information the IRS wants you to bring to your examination. During the audit, the IRS may issue a subsequent IDR for additional information it identifies as necessary.
There are limits to what the IRS can request. Some information may be sensitive or privileged to a taxpayer. It’s always best to have an experienced tax attorney review the IDR.
If you do not respond to the IRS audit letter, the IRS will issue a report based on the information available to it as well as a tax bill. It is best to respond by any deadline noted, even if it is to request additional time to prepare documentation.
If you have received an IRS audit letter, it’s best to act quickly and hire an experienced tax attorney. Our team of experienced tax lawyers can help you evaluate your options and represent you. Give us a call at (404) 233-9800 to get started today.