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J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes 2017 by Barbara Weltman

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CHAPTER 33 Handling Audits with the IRS

  1. Types of Audits
  2. Appeals
  3. Litigation
  4. Mediation
  5. Taxpayer Bill of Rights
  6. Taxpayer Advocate Service

The word “audit” sends shivers up the spine of a small business owner, and for good reason. Tangling with the IRS diverts the owner's attention from running the business now to hashing over old taxes. An audit may also wind up costing the owner hefty professional fees for representation and additional taxes, penalties, and interest. The good news is that audit rates for most types of businesses are down and not expected to grow anytime soon (see Chapter 1 for audit statistics). Still, if you are selected for examination by the IRS, these statistics are little comfort to you. When you receive a letter from the IRS stating that you are under examination, you need understand what it means and what you can or should do.

This chapter is intended to give you only an overview of the audit process and your options for dealing with it. For further information about tax audits, see IRS Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer; IRS Publication 556, Examination of Returns, Appeals Rights, and Claims for Refund; IRS Publication 3498, The Examination Process; and IRS Publication 3498-A, The Examination Process (Audits by Mail).

Types of Audits

The IRS is the tax collector for the federal government. If the IRS thinks you have underreported your income or made other errors that caused an underpayment of taxes, it will seek recovery. To do this, it must ...

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