Why am I being selected for an audit?
Selection for an audit does not always suggest there’s a problem. The IRS uses several different methods:
- Random selection and computer screening – sometimes returns are selected based solely on a statistical formula. We compare your tax return against “norms” for similar returns. We develop these “norms” from audits of a statistically valid random sample of returns, as part of the National Research Program the IRS conducts. The IRS uses this program to update return selection information.
- Related examinations – we may select your returns when they involve issues or transactions with other taxpayers, such as business partners or investors, whose returns were selected for audit.
Next, an experienced auditor reviews the return. They may accept it; or if the auditor notes something questionable, they will identify the items noted and forward the return for assignment to an examining group.
Note: filing an amended return does not affect the selection process of the original return. However, amended returns also go through a screening process and the amended return may be selected for audit. Additionally, a refund is not necessarily a trigger for an audit.
How am I notified?
Should your account be selected for audit, we will notify you by mail. We won’t initiate an audit by telephone.
How will the IRS conduct my audit?
The IRS manages audits either by mail or through an in-person interview to review your records. The interview may be at an IRS office (office audit) or at the taxpayer’s home, place of business, or accountant’s office (field audit). Remember, you will be contacted initially by mail. The IRS will provide all contact information and instructions in the letter you will receive.
If we conduct your audit by mail, our letter will request additional information about certain items shown on the tax return such as income, expenses, and itemized deductions. If you have too many books or records to mail, you can request a face-to-face audit. The IRS will provide contact information and instructions in the letter you receive.
Depending on the issues in your audit, IRS examiners may use one of these Audit Techniques Guides to assist them. These guides will give you an idea of what to expect.
RMS Tax Consulting can help. Call Richard Schickel today at 520-448-3531 for a free consultation.