In an IRS audit, you have certain taxpayer rights to protect your interests. Most importantly, you have the right to professional IRS representation. Hiring a licensed CPA, tax attorney or other enrolled tax professional is no admission of guilt – its simply a sound business practice. Most seasoned IRS examiners would prefer to deal with a licensed tax consultant – one that understands your reporting obligations and will not get emotional when errors or discrepancies are found.
The IRS Tax Examiner
The IRS tax examiner is simply doing his job. His job is to protect the government’s interests and collect additional taxes from you that you may owe. Tax examiners are skilled and experience in their techniques and will strive to collect information that can be used against you.
Why Hire a Tax Audit Defense Team
Hiring a tax professional will at least put you on equal footing with the IRS. Hiring a good professional may even put you in a better position – one where your guy knows more than the examiner.
When hiring a professional to represent you, its often not best to hire the guy who prepared your taxes. Dealing with the IRS is quite different than preparing tax returns. Your advocate must be knowledgeable, skilled and experience with dealing with the IRS and taxpayer representation.
Who Do You Trust?
Never hire a marketing firm – one that advertises on the internet, collects your information and sells it to others. When searching on the internet for a tax professional, ask who you’re dealing with. What are their professional credentials? Are they a CPA, tax attorney or enrolled agent, or are you just talking to a sales guy working on commission. If your first contact is the sales guy – hang up! Its just that simple.
Hiring the “Right” Tax Professional
There really aren’t many choices when it comes to hiring the “right” professional. Tax attorneys are generally your best bet when you could be subject to criminal charges, or if you need to take your case to tax court. Certified public accountants (CPA) generally have a better understanding of accounting and tax preparation matters and can help you gather and organize the information requested by the IRS and amend your tax returns if needed. You can also choose being represented by an enrolled agent who is also authorized to represent you before the IRS in a tax controversy. Only CPAs, tax attorneys and enrolled agents are authorized by the IRS to represent you.
Audit Defense Experience Makes All the Difference
Although there are many tax attorneys, CPAs and enrolled agents out there, not many of them have the experience you need in dealing with the IRS – their practice may be limited to other tax matters such as tax planning, estate planning, tax preparation, financial reporting and more. When dealing with the IRS, always hire a professional who represents taxpayers before the IRS regularly, and has the knowledge and experience to get you the best results.