Should an IRS Tax Lawyer Be Present During a Tax Audit
Being involved in a tax audit can be one of the scariest things even for the bravest, most upstanding taxpayer. Many taxpayers will be confused as to why, while others will understand why there may be a problem. Generally, a simple tax audit will happen only by mail. The IRS will send a request for certain documents which then have to be sent to the IRS offices. In most cases, this will resolve the issue. If further information is needed, the IRS may request that you come to their office and bring certain records with you. In rare cases, there will be a “field audit” in which an IRS tax agent will come to your home or place of business to seek further information or documentation.
Many taxpayers wonder initially if an IRS tax lawyer is necessary when they’re being audited. Some may believe that hiring IRS tax lawyers would be an admission of guilt or fraud, and that an auditor would presume they’re hiding something if they have representation. This is not generally true. Taxpayers have every right to hire representation no matter how big or small the matter, and most may want to do so simply in order to receive proper advise as to how to handle the situation. It’s important to know how severe your situation is before seeking outside help.
Some taxpayers may choose to hire representation simply so they do not have to deal with the tax auditor face-to-face. A taxpayer under audit can give a qualified representative power of attorney, which gives them the right to handle all of the decision making regarding the audit- including meeting with IRS representatives, answering questions, and signing documents. While it may seem easier to hand the audit over to an IRS tax lawyer or other representative to deal with, this may put a wrench in the process. Representatives are sometimes not able to answer questions as directly as the taxpayer, and general delays and extra paperwork can get involved. Besides that, hearing the sincerity and believability directly from the taxpayer can often prove invaluable. Hiring a professional, but also being present with them is generally the best way to go.
Audits can be scary, so many opt to have the support and guidance of a qualified tax representative on their side. Examine the severity of your case, and be sure you only hire someone you can trust.
(Source: How to Deal With (And Survive) I.R.S. Income Tax Audits http://www.cobar.org/index.cfm/ID/132/subID/469/How-To-Deal-With-%28And-Survive%29-I.R.S.-Income-Tax-Audits/)
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