Do You Need Professional Representation for an IRS Audit?

By DeBlanc + Murphy
September 26, 2023

Submitting your tax documents to the IRS can feel like stepping into a minefield. You never know when you might end up in the wrong spot, and you or your business are selected for an audit. That’s when the panic sinks in, and it can feel like you are dealing with it alone. Luckily, among your “taxpayer bill of rights” is your right to retain representation in dealings with the IRS. However, exercising this right effectively and adequately can be determined by the type of representative you would like to hire, the type of audit being conducted, and several other essential factors.

Types of Representatives

CPA: A certified public accountant (CPA) is a highly skilled financial advisor who can be a vital representative during an IRS audit. CPAs will familiarize themselves with the revenue structure of a company and work with them in responding to and dealing with the IRS. CPAs can even help in regular business, filing taxes and ensuring compliance with financial regulations to avoid an audit in the first place.

Attorney: A tax lawyer is an attorney who specializes in tax law. These representatives can help communicate concepts and issues regarding tax law to the IRS.

EA: Enrolled Agents (EA) are federally licensed tax practitioners who hold the highest award the IRS gives. They are often former service employees and are given the same unlimited practice rights as an attorney or a CPA.

Types of Audits

Your choice of representation may hinge on the type of audit you are submitted to.

Consider these possibilities when undergoing an audit:

Correspondence Audit: A correspondence or “mail audit” is conducted entirely by mail and often consists of short clarifying questions. In many cases, these audits can be dealt with on your own, but depending on the severity or complexity of the questions, it may be wise to consult with an expert.

Desk Audit: Also known as an “office audit,” a desk audit occurs when questions and concerns transcend a simple letter. You are assigned an agent and asked to come into their office. In this case, it is wise to consult a representative to help navigate and mediate with the agent, primarily if you have known issues with your tax return.

Field Audit: When there is a significant concern, the IRS will assign an experienced agent to a field audit. These audits are usually conducted at the person’s home or business. If you know your affairs are in order but are unsure how to accommodate this type of thorough investigation, it is recommended to consult a professional who can deal with the field audit and even change its location to a third-party office.

The Benefits of Representation

You only get one shot to deal with your audit, so it must be handled properly to ensure the longevity of your business. If you are confused, uncomfortable, or too busy to deal with an audit, it is essential to consult a skilled professional who will deal with it carefully and impartially.

Our expert team of CPAs will represent your company so that you can get through your audit without even having to speak with the IRS. Contact us today to learn how we can help you with your IRS audit.

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