The Kansas Society of Certified Public Accountants says taxpayers should not panic when the Internal Revenue Service sends an audit notice.
The society offers the following strategies for dealing with the IRS:
Prepare. Read the letter from the IRS to verify that the information is correct. Respond promptly, but don't hesitate to ask for a postponement if more preparation time is needed. Persons should review each entry on their return, organize records and identify potential problem areas.
Think twice before attending your own audit. Taxpayers can choose: (a.) to handle the audit themselves; (b.) have a representative go with them; or (c.) have a representative go in their place. Experts advise taxpayers to pick "c."
Know your rights. Persons have the right to ask for a reasonable amount of time to produce requested documentation, stop the audit to consult a tax adviser and request that the site of the audit be changed. For more on taxpayer rights, read IRS Publication I "Your Rights as a Taxpayer." The publication can be ordered by calling (800) 829-3676.