The IRS is one of the few governmental agencies that has the ability to make people freeze in terror – and for good reason. The IRS has the authority to garnish wages, levy fines, take money from your bank accounts, and confiscate your car, home and other personal property. When the IRS notifies you of an audit, there are specific steps to take.

Don’t Panic

Difficult as it may be, you need to remain calm if you’re to discover the extent and reason for the audit. It may be the result of an innocent mistake and easily rectified. The IRS notification will explain why you’re being audited.

It may not even be the result of an actual error. The IRS uses computer technology that screens and selects returns to be audited. They’re often chosen based on a statistical formula against what the IRS considers the “norm.”

People with incomes of 25,000 or less and those making $500,000 or more are the most likely to be audited. If the company you work for is audited, you might be, too.

The Process

Most IRS audits are conducted via mail and there’s no need to sit face-to-face with an auditor. However, if you receive a notice that you’re being audited, providing a timely response is critical. You should know that the IRS has up to three years in which it can start and conclude the audit process from one of your tax returns.

Hire a Professional

It’s an excellent idea to hire a tax professional that’s legally able to represent you in an audit. Collect all the documentation that you used to complete your return in the year for which you’re being audited. The more information you can provide to the tax professional, the better he/she can advocate for your interests.


You should know that if the auditor finds you at fault, you have the right to appeal within 30 days. The IRS will send a letter indicating the audit is closed, at which time you can appeal. Unfortunately, many people only see the decision rendered in the letter, not their ability to dispute the findings. You must appeal within 30 days of receiving the letter.

At Peavy and Associates PC our mission is to assist you with all your tax preparations, payroll and accounting needs.  We provide our clients with professional, personalized accounting services and guidance in a wide range of financial and business needs. Give us a call today and discover why our clients return to Peavy and Associates, PC year after year!


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