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How To Beat an IRS Audit Without a Tax Lawyer

How To Beat an IRS Audit Without a Tax Lawyer

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Published by Michael Rozbruch
Going against the IRS without a tax lawyer is like riding buck naked in a motocross race, you probably won't win and if you crash, the results could be fatal. If you are determined to fight an IRS audit without a tax attorney, the nation’s leading tax resolution specialist offers practical tax tips to help you beat the IRS.
Going against the IRS without a tax lawyer is like riding buck naked in a motocross race, you probably won't win and if you crash, the results could be fatal. If you are determined to fight an IRS audit without a tax attorney, the nation’s leading tax resolution specialist offers practical tax tips to help you beat the IRS.

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Published by: Michael Rozbruch on Jul 24, 2009
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05/15/2010

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Tax Attorney Tips: How To Beat an IRS Audit Without a TaxLawyer
Going against the IRS without a tax lawyer is like riding buck naked in a motocrossrace, you probably won't win and if you crash, the results could be fatal. If you aredetermined to fight an IRS audit without a tax attorney, the nation’s leading tax resolution specialist offers practical tax tips to help you beat the IRS.
“He who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client.” -- ancient proverbGoing against the IRS without a tax lawyer is like riding buck naked in a motocrossrace, you probably won't win and if you crash, the results could be fatal.As a tax resolution specialist for the past 10+ years, I have my obvious bias. At TRS, weare a team of highly specialized tax resolution experts includingtax attorneys, CPAs,EAs (enrolled agent tax experts) and others who have been providing income tax helpfor a combined 150 years of experience. We have helped provide IRS tax relief for people who have tax problems withback taxes, late filing, tax fraud, theft (from Madoff and other Ponzi schemes) and more. We have seen the substantial tax relief successour team can bring. We've also seen the disasters that strike those who dare to go solo.Those who decide to fight the IRS by themselves may be motivated by misinformation.Tax resolution complaints are on the rise, as are outright tax resolution scams (officiallooking IRS snail mail or email that not only steal your identity but also tricks somevictims into writing big checks to the "tax resolution firm"). Tin foil hat conspiracytheorists claim that the whole tax resolution industry is nothing but a giant tax relief scam. They say the IRS works for you, the people, and the IRS has your best interestsat heart. You can beat anIRS audit, they say, with the free tax help the IRS provides. If you believe that, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you.So with all those caveats aside, if you are bound and determined to fight the law withouta safety net, here are a few tips.Remember that free tax help that the IRS provides? You get what you pay for here.There's the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service (http://www.irs.gov/advocate/index.html).They won't help you in an audit except to tell you who your auditor is and how it isprogressing. If you think you've been treated unfairly by the IRS, these are the folks you
 
6345 Balboa Blvd, Suite 285Encino, CA 91316Phone: (866) IRS-PROBLEMS or (818) 774-1813Fax: (818) 774-9361Web: www.TaxResolution.com
 
complain to. Remember that these bureaucrats say they are on your side, but ultimatelythe government writes their paychecks. They have no real economic incentive to makesure you win. Atax lawyer does.The IRS web site is a mess when it comes to finding tips on how to survive an audit.The best publication to get you started isIRS Publication 556.If you feel confused by this IRS document, you're not alone. Making sense of "IRS help documents" is whatkeeps tax attorneys in business. Tax lawyers understand how a comma vs. a semicoloncan drastically change the tax resolution you get from your IRS audit.You can find a lot of advice on how to survive anIRS auditonline.Nolo.comhas a very good (if slightly flawed) taxes and audit section. Here you'll get solid tax advice like:
Don't answer unless asked.
Give the auditor no more information than she isentitled to, and don't talk any more during the audit than is absolutely necessary.Don't give copies of other years' tax returns to the auditor. In fact, don't bring toan audit any documents that do not pertain to the year under audit, or were notspecifically requested by the audit notice.
Know your rights.
Browse IRS Publication 1, explaining the Taxpayers' Bill of Rights, prior to your audit. If the audit is not going well, demand a recess toconsult a tax pro. Ask to speak to the auditor's manager if you think the auditor istreating you unfairly. If the subject of tax fraud comes up during an audit, don't tryto handle it yourself.
Appeal the results.
When you get the examination report, call the auditor if youdon't understand or agree with it. Meet with her or her manager to see if you canreach a compromise. If you can't live with an audit result, you may appeal withinthe IRS or go on to tax court.Roy Lewis atMotley Foollikens going into an IRS audit without a tax lawyer to"removing your own appendix," but he offers a few nuggets of IRS advice including:
Organize your records.
Making the auditor's job easier will win you somepoints. The auditor will at least believe that you're an organized person and thatall of your items are documented and justified. Don't be afraid to group the itemsin question, or attach an adding-machine tape that matches the tax return. Thatwill allow the auditor to quickly review the important issues. Don't believe thosewho tell you that you can just throw your records in a bag, drop it on the auditor'sdesk, and shout, "You figure it out!" That just doesn't work. Remember, it's your legal responsibility to prove your deductions.
Replace missing records.
If you're going through your records and find thatsome of them are missing, call for duplicates immediately. Don't just go to theaudit and claim that the records are missing or lost. That does you no good at all.
 
At best, the auditor will request that you obtain the records. At worst, thededuction in question will be denied, since there are no supporting documents.
Provide only copies.
Don't bring original documents to the audit. If you do bringoriginals, do not give them to the agent. Request that the agent make copies andgive the originals back to you. Once you hand over your original documents,there's a very good chance that they will be misplaced or lost. Then you're theone left holding the bag, since the IRS isn't responsible for documents lost in itspossession.The most detailed IRS audit advice comes from CFPs and CPAs. For example in thisarticle Greta P. Hicks, CPA offers adetailed approachon how to prepare for the four types of audits the IRS performs.EvenMicrosofthas better advice for businesses on surviving an audit than the IRSdoes.Bottom line, when you battle the IRS who do you want in your corner? Someone (you)who is facing the IRS for the first time, or someone who has been winning against themfor decades?If a layman attempts to go through this process without proper expert representation,their Offer in Compromise will not only get rejected but they will end up owing the IRSmore money (in additional accruing penalties and interest) than when they started theprocess. Remember that the IRS is the most brutal collection agency on the planet.At TRS, we encourage our clients to do themselves and their loved ones a favor byexercising their right to have expert representation before the IRS. From our 150 plusyears of combined experience, we know that waiting only makes matters worse. Oncewe are retained by a client, we take over all communication with the IRS.The cash you "save" by not hiring a reputable tax attorney may be the most expensivemoney in your life. And you may have a long time to consider the cost of going it aloneas you write big checks to the government for the rest of your life or worse yet,repenting at leisure while you're pumping your biceps in the prison yard. It's your call.If you do decide to hire a tax resolution specialist (the sane choice), here are a fewresources for you:http://www.taxresolution.com/blog/how-to-best-pick-your-tax-attorney-to-fight-irs-debt-you-have-the-right-to-a-tax-attorney-a-good-one-too/http://www.squidoo.com/How-To-Hire-A-Tax-Resolution-Company-You-Can-Trusthttp://www.taxresolution.com/blog/495/

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