Top Records Requested During an IRS Audit — And What to Do If You Can’t Find Them

You’ve been hit with an audit and now face a pile of paperwork, what if you can’t find what you’re looking for? Along the way, you’ll need to retrieve a variety of documents. In this guide, we’ve identified which records you’ll need and how you can track them down as quickly as possible.

Typical Records Requested During an Audit

The following are among the most commonly requested records during a tax audit:

  • Copies of tax returns from the past several years
  • Receipts for any relevant business expenses
  • Canceled checks
  • Credit card statements
  • Loan agreements
  • Business travel logs

What If You Can’t Find Necessary Paperwork?

You know which records you need — but after an exhausting hunt, you’ve come up short. Don’t panic just yet. You may be able to track down digital records, which are increasingly available via online invoices or in other electronic forms.

Additionally, you can take some comfort in understanding the Cohan Rule, created nearly a century ago in Cohan v. Commissioner. This court decision stated that taxpayers without proper documentation could still claim reasonable and credible expenses. Deducting the full amount may be unlikely, but this rule can still prove useful in the worst-case scenario.

The best solution when you struggle to retrieve IRS audit records? Getting help from a tax professional. This expert can help you find information that you may fail to find on your own. The Highland Tax Group is a great resource during an audit, so don’t hesitate to reach out.