What Does It Mean to Get an IRS Exam? What Can You Do About It?
Exams are not, as you might assume, reserved for school. They’re also a common phenomenon in the tax world, where they are relied on to resolve discrepancies with the IRS.
Often referred to as an audit, an IRS exam aims to determine whether tax information you’ve submitted is accurate. If an exam reveals or verifies mistakes, the result can be costly for the taxpayer or business in question.
How Do IRS Exams Work?
IRS exams can take many forms. Where they occur may determine, in part, how long the process takes or how much work will be required on the taxpayer’s end. The following are the most common exam formats:
- Mail. Often referred to as the correspondence exam, this approach involves requests for specific documents. The goal? To clear up minor discrepancies found in tax returns. Correspondence exams typically provide a streamlined approach to the auditing process, especially as compared to their in-person counterparts.
- IRS office. Conducted at IRS campus locations, office exams are conducted by Tax Compliance Officers, who perform in-person interviews but do not need to inspect the taxpayer’s premises.
- The taxpayer’s home or business. Known as the field exam, this type of audit requires at least one representative from the IRS to visit the business or individual in question.
Preparing for an IRS Exam
No matter which type of IRS exam you’re forced to undergo, you’ll want to get organized in advance. This means gathering all relevant documents and any other information you believe will support your case.
Your chances of success are far greater if you work with an enrolled agent. This highly trained professional will represent your best interests every step of the way.
Have you been targeted by the IRS? There’s no need to handle an exam alone. The Highland Tax Group can assist with documentation and representation. Reach out today to learn more.