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Tax audits Q and A

Connecticut residents who receive word that they are being audited by the Internal Revenue Service may have a lot of questions and concerns. This is completely understandable, as it can be a frightening thing if one has never been through it before. This week's column will address some common questions people may have about tax audits.

Question number one is: Why me? A person may be audited because he or she was picked at random, because he or she has some type of relationship with someone else picked for an audit -- such as an investor or business partner -- or because an error was noticed on his or her tax return. In other words, sometimes there is no rhyme or reason to it, and sometimes there is.

Question number two is: Will the audit happen in person? It depends. Some people need to attend an in-person interview, while others are able to do the entire process by mail.

Question number three is: How long does the typical audit take? This depends on a number of factors. If there are complex issues that need resolving, it can take a while.

Question number four is: What rights does a person being audited have? One may not feel that he or she has any rights when facing an audit, but that simply is not true. Taxpayers have the following rights:

  • The right to receive professional treatment from the IRS
  • The right to confidentiality
  • The right to ask questions and get answers
  • The right to legal counsel
  • The right to appeal

These questions really are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more that can be asked and answered, just not in this forum. Connecticut residents who receive notifications of tax audits can turn to an experienced tax attorney who will be able to answer all of their questions, offer guidance and help them through the process.

Source: irs.gov, "IRS Audits", Accessed on May 30, 2018

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