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Understanding your rights as a taxpayer during an IRS audit

On Behalf of | Oct 17, 2023 | Tax Controversies |

Undergoing an IRS audit can be a daunting experience. As a taxpayer, the law entitles you to certain rights during an audit.

If the IRS has contacted you about performing an audit, know your rights so you can navigate the audit process with confidence and ensure fair treatment.

Right to proper notification

When the IRS decides to audit you, they must provide you with clear and concise information about the process. This includes explaining the reason for the audit, what documents they need and what your responsibilities are. Understanding the purpose of the audit is essential, as it allows you to effectively prepare and address any concerns.

Right to privacy and confidentiality

IRS agents should only access information relevant to your tax return and the audit process. They must also adhere to strict confidentiality rules and are not allowed to disclose your information without proper authorization.

Right to a fair and impartial audit

Every taxpayer has the right to a fair and impartial audit. IRS agents must treat you with respect and follow the law while conducting their investigation. They should not use any tactics that intimidate, harass or unfairly target you. Bring attention to any improper treatment.

Right to finality

Once the audit is complete, and if you have agreed with the findings or have exhausted all appeal options, you have the right to receive notice of the final determination. This means the IRS cannot revisit the same issues without new information or evidence, protecting you from constant scrutiny on the same matters.

Only about 3.8 out of every 1,000 tax returns result in an audit. In the event of an audit, take an active role in the process to ensure the IRS conducts its investigation with integrity and without bias. Every case is different, but your rights are the same as any taxpayer.