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IRS Tax Audits: What You Need to Know


Posted in on November 30, 2018

Everybody dreads an Internal Revenue Service audit.

Most of the time people have nothing to worry about. But whether or not you feel confident in your ability to make it through an IRS tax audit, understanding the different types of IRS audits and consulting with a Maryland IRS audit attorney could help allay your fears.

Types of IRS Audits

Generally speaking, an IRS Audit is a review of an organization’s or individual’s accounts and financial information to ensure that they are complying with the tax laws and reporting a correct amount of tax.

Usually, a taxpayer will be subjected to one of three types of IRS audits: a correspondence audit, an office audits, or a field audit. On rare occasions, a taxpayer will be notified that they have been randomly selected for a more comprehensive audit. These random audits are the type that people fear the most.

Correspondence Audit

In a correspondence audit, the IRS sends a letter in the mail requesting more information about a particular part of a tax return. They will be looking for documentation – receipts, invoices, payment records, etc. – to prove that a certain piece of information set forth on the tax return can be substantiated.

Office Audit

You might receive a letter requesting that you bring documentation to an IRS office for an audit. While this type of audit is more detailed than a correspondence audit and will take more time to prepare, it is generally completed in a day.

Field Audit

A field audit is much more detailed than either a correspondence or office audit. The IRS auditor will actually go to the taxpayer’s home or place of business. Unlike the correspondence and office audits, which are fairly limited in scope, the field auditors do not limit their inquiries to a predetermined matter.

Random Audit

In a random audit, the IRS will conduct a comprehensive audit, analyzing every item on the tax return. The auditors will look for the taxpayer to substantiate every line item with documentation. This audit, while rare, is very time consuming and is the type of audit that causes the most trepidation.

Keep Calm and Call Your Maryland IRS Audit Attorney

Regardless of the type of audit you are undergoing, you will need to put your best foot forward. Common mistakes people make when being audited include:


IRS audits are a fact of life. There is no reason to panic. Panicking can lead to rushing and making errors in your IRS responses. Take a deep breath and if you are worried, call a tax lawyer for assistance.

Not Requesting an Extension If You Need It

If you can’t gather all the information you need in time to meet the deadline for either sending it to the IRS in a correspondence audit or bringing it to the date of your scheduled field or office audit, you can request an extension from the IRS. It is possible they will want you to begin with what you have, but it is also likely that a reasonable request for extension to have time to gather additional documentation will be granted.

Providing Too Much Information

Because they are inexperienced, people think providing more information than is requested will impress the auditor or agent. But the unanticipated consequence of this behavior is opening yourself up to exposure that would not have occurred if you had just followed instructions. A Maryland IRS audit attorney can help you understand where to draw the line between being compliant with an IRS request and going too far with the information you are providing.

Whether you are notified of a correspondence, field, office or a comprehensive random audit, Maryland IRS audit attorney Kevin Thorn at Thorn Law Group can help. Contact him online or give us a call at 24-235-5096.

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