IRS Examination Process

Aug 20


Chris Amundson

Chris Amundson

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IRS Examination Process

Although every IRS Audit is a little bit different,IRS Examination Process Articles they all have common elements.


It begins when they send out a letter that basically does six things:

  1. Informs you of the examination
  2. Informs you of the individual returns and the years under examination
  3. Gives you a date, time and place for the Audit
  4. Gives you the Contact Name and Contact Information of The Auditor
  5. Provides you with an initial list of documents to gather
  6. And Informs you of your rights as a Taxpayer


After you receive the notice, the next thing for you to do is to get audit representation. Representing yourself in an IRS Audit, or having a bad representative, is the most dangerous position that you could be in. The IRS in many ways, is just a collection agency. Generally, when agents sit down with individuals that don’t speak taxation, aren’t educated in tax law, and are inexperienced in the audit process, they’re going to collect much more revenue for the government, then they would if they were dealing with a professional.


If you are in the middle of an examination and the accountant that you have handling it is doing a bad job, you are under no obligation to retain this poor counselor. You have the right to change at any time. You neither have to do this alone, nor do you have to keep a bad representative.

After retaining competent representation, you must put together the proper audit documentation, as is required by the audit letter. Many clients will ask questions like, “Why do they want this?” Or other questions such as “How is this possibly relevant?” Being uncooperative in these investigations is the wrong move. In these proceedings, you are guilty until proven innocent. Innocence is proven through providing little pieces of original documentation such as canceled checks, payroll registers, general ledgers, accounts receivable details, inventory counts, etc. If you don’t have this documentation, then you should immediately fire your current accountant. It was your accountant’s job to inform you of the law and make sure that retained these items. If they have failed, you’re on the hook and possibly in trouble.


Usually, you can get copies of many of these items, such as bank statement from a bank, or monthly credit card summaries from the card issuer. Other items are much more difficult. If you didn’t document your year end inventory, or keep track of your accounts payable, then you have a problem. Two or three years after the fact, how are you going to find this? Having an experienced professional representative can really help. In many instances, we can work through these issues with the government using other pieces of evidence.


Usually we try to have the audit held in our offices rather than at your place of business. It’s always better to not have an IRS auditor at your business scaring your employees and making your customers uncomfortable. In many instances, if we are your representative, you won’t even have to attend the audit itself. It’s generally better to not have a customer there in the first place. If you get nervous, and say the wrong thing, it will not help your case.


Many times we are referred cases which are very difficult indeed. Cases where the company is obviously guilty of tax evasion and our main job is making sure that the owner does not serve any jail time and the amount owed is reduced to as fair a figure as is possible. Cases where all of the records were lost in a flood or just not kept can be challenging. Other multi-jurisdictional cases and estate cases that are obviously difficult because there really isn’t anyone left alive to provide answers. Whatever your needs may happen to be, the professionals at Accounting Solutions can help you through your audit.

If you are having problems with your IRS Examination Process or have issues with your accounting in general, we would love to help. I enjoy hearing from my readers, and can be contacted at
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