1. DON’T volunteer information. A typical agent is a low-key, friendly agent. They get your guard down by playing a nice guy role. Don’t be deceived by it. Remember that he (includes her) is not on your side. He may appear to be, but he is not.
2. Don’t be a blabbermouth. Taxpayers are scared to talk before introductions and then become relaxed and chatty upon observing that the auditor is not a mean dude after all. This is why I never bring my clients to IRS audits. I strictly forbid my clients from talking with and writing to the IRS. If a client breaks this rule, I disengage.
3. Don’t be late. It doesn’t make a good first impression.
4. Don’t walk in without records.
5. Don’t dump a paper bag in the auditor’s face. A happy auditor may not necessarily favor you but an angry auditor certainly will not help you.
6. Don’t fight the auditor. Don’t tell him to go after the Mob instead of small fish like you. He was given a case file to work on and he is just doing his job. He could make life more difficult for you.
7. Don’t ever bribe an auditor. Your case will be referred to the Criminal Investigation Division (CID).
8. Don’t be overconfident especially if you have some knowledge about taxes and audits.
9. Don’t underestimate the skills of the auditor. The agent is a professional. He does this kind of thing for a living. Compared to his skills, you’re an amateur.
10. Stay away from referring to the IRS as Nazi, Gestapo or ISIS.
11. We understand that this experience can be nerve-wracking, but don’t be overly nervous. You must be hiding something.
12. If you want to end your misery, don’t make it so obvious that you want to rush. The auditor must have missed a major issue.
13. Don’t file tax return during an audit. That return is likely to be audited as well.
14. Don’t lie. The auditor may already have the answer and is just testing your credibility. For example, you may say “no” to a question if you have a stock brokerage account while auditor stares at a dividend income 1099 in his files.
15. Don’t react negatively to an office auditor who may not respond positively to your friendly gesture. Office technicians have a tight schedule—four per day for wage earners and two for small business. They also have to prepare their report in between.
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Victor Santos Sy graduated Cum Laude from UE with a BBA and from Indiana State University with an MBA. Vic worked with SyCip, Gorres, Velayo (SGV – Andersen Consulting) and Ernst & Young before establishing Sy Accountancy Corporation in Pasadena, California.
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2He has 50 years of experience in defending taxpayers audited by the IRS, FTB, EDD, BOE and other governmental agencies. He is publishing a book on his expertise – “HOW TO AVOID OR SURVIVE IRS AUDITS.” Our readers may inquire about the book or email tax questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.