Know Your Rights: What You Need to Know About Your Rights in an IRS Audit
If you are facing an IRS audit, it’s important to understand your rights as a taxpayer. The IRS has the authority to examine your tax return and financial records to determine if you have accurately reported your income and deductions. However, as a taxpayer, you have certain rights that are protected by law. Here are some of the key rights you have during an IRS audit:
- The right to representation: You have the right to be represented by an attorney, a certified public accountant (CPA), or an enrolled agent during an IRS audit. Your representative can speak on your behalf, help you gather documentation, and ensure that your rights are protected during the audit process.
- The right to confidentiality: The IRS is required to keep all taxpayer information confidential. This includes all financial and personal information that is shared during an audit. The IRS is also prohibited from sharing your information with anyone outside the agency without your consent.
- The right to appeal: If you disagree with the results of an audit, you have the right to appeal the decision. You can appeal to the IRS Office of Appeals, which is an independent organization within the IRS. The Appeals Office will review your case and make a determination based on the facts presented.
- The right to a fair and impartial audit: The IRS is required to conduct audits in a fair and impartial manner. The auditor should not have a personal or financial interest in the outcome of the audit, and should not have any bias or prejudice against the taxpayer. If you feel that the auditor is not conducting the audit fairly, you have the right to request a meeting with the auditor’s supervisor.
- The right to know why you are being audited: The IRS is required to provide a clear explanation of why you are being audited. The audit notice should clearly state the items being audited and the documentation that is required. If you have any questions or concerns about the audit, you have the right to ask the auditor for an explanation.
- The right to record conversations: You have the right to record conversations with the IRS during an audit. However, you must inform the IRS that you are recording the conversation before you begin. Recording conversations can help protect your rights and ensure that all information is accurately documented.
In conclusion, as a taxpayer, you have certain rights that are protected during an IRS audit. These rights include the right to representation, the right to confidentiality, the right to appeal, the right to a fair and impartial audit, the right to know why you are being audited, and the right to record conversations. By understanding your rights, you can ensure that your rights are protected during the audit process and that you are treated fairly by the IRS. If you have any questions or concerns about the audit process, it may be in your best interest to work with an experienced tax professional who can help you navigate the audit process and ensure that your rights are protected.