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It can be dangerous to assume IRS motives when being audited

The Internal Revenue Service has never been a popular agency among Americans. After all, it’s difficult to like a highly bureaucratic agency that always seems to be after your money. But, for the most part, the IRS is viewed as a necessary annoyance.

Over the past few years, however, there has been considerable partisan bickering about the agency’s alleged political agenda. Conservative groups in particular are claiming that they have been unfairly targeted for increased scrutiny and IRS audits. But is this really true?

As a recent example, the maker of a new political documentary has taken to the web to proclaim that for the first time in his life, he is being audited by the IRS. He claims that he is being targeted by the IRS because his new documentary is critical of the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.”

The man posted a YouTube video saying “I had never been audited before I made this movie. There seems to be a pattern here.” He also claims the IRS is seeking “a detailed description of all transactions related to all prior year returns and supporting documentation” as well as a “ridiculously long list” of other documents.

But is there any proof to suggest that the IRS audit is anything more than a coincidence? Even if the two are related, does that necessarily mean the man is being targeted for his political views? Perhaps the IRS took notice of him because he has released a documentary and has since become more of a public figure than he was before.

The point here is that it is usually unwise and unproductive to assume motives, especially the alleged motives of an entire government agency. An IRS audit is serious business, to be sure, but responding to the audit with a defensive and defiant attitude will likely do more harm than good.

If you are being audited, for any reason or seemingly no reason at all, it is best to seek the help of an experienced tax law attorney.

Source: The Washington Times, “Producer of anti-Obamacare movie ‘Sick and Sicker’ hit with IRS audit,” Jessica Chasmar, Oct. 7, 2014

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