Even accomplished business owners will want to bring an expert into a Schedule C IRS audit. The process can be scary and intimidating, and it can make all the difference if you have an experienced tax professional at your side. Hire the right help and avoid the wrong help with these tips.
Hire The Right Help
To make sure that you are hiring the right person, first, examine a firm’s credentials. At a minimum, make sure that a firm’s staff has an IRS issued tax preparer identification number—that means that they can legally prepare a federal tax return.
Beyond that, ask if they are either an enrolled agent, a certified public accountant or an attorney. Membership in one of these categories means that your representative has been licensed by the IRS or the state to practice. If so, your representative has demonstrated proficiency in tax preparation, has passed various character background checks, and has “unlimited representation rights” to appear with clients for any IRS matters. Without one of these qualifications, they only have “limited representation rights”—meaning they can only appear for particular IRS issues and in certain venues.
To get started, the IRS has a directory of preparers with credentials and qualifications. There are a number of tax-related professional organizations that can also refer you to members, explain training and qualifications and so forth.
Avoid The Wrong Help
The wrong help turns your audit into an even more stressful situation. Look for these red flags.
Beware of a professional who encourages you to settle with the IRS right away. You want to hire someone who knows tax laws and is willing to help you win.
If the professional seems uncertain about what to do or asks you to handle the audit on your own, look elsewhere. The right professional knows how to approach a Schedule C Audit and supports you from start to finish.
If the professional is unwilling to show up at the IRS meeting, or ask you to show up with them, look elsewhere. You do not want to be a part of your own IRS audit.
Try to steer clear of hiring your tax preparer, this can be a red flag, and conflict of interest for the preparer. Hire outside help.
Finally, read online reviews from other business owners. One or two bad reviews don’t automatically disqualify someone but look for a pattern of poor performance. To find reviews, check:
You need quality help as you face your Schedule C audit. We’re enrolled agents with the experience you need. Contact us at 720-398-6088 to discover how we can help you face your audit with confidence.