There are two types of IRS audits that may warrant hiring an IRS audit lawyer: a correspondence audit, tax-compliance audit, and an on-site audit.
IRS Correspondence Audit
The IRS correspondence audit is conducted by a tax-compliance officer. This is where the tax-compliance officer will, on behalf of the IRS, mail out requests for the taxpayer to respond with specific types of financial information that directly correspond with an item on the tax return that has piqued the IRS’s interest - perhaps requesting the taxpayer to justify their business-mileage expense.
If the taxpayer can adequately respond to the IRS’s correspondence audit inquiry with the proper documentation, the matter may be closed.
If the taxpayer cannot justify whatever requests the IRS has made in their correspondence audit, may trigger the IRS to request additional information, open the audit to additional years, or even elevate it to a full-scale audit for further investigation.
IRS Office Audit
An office audit is where your IRS debt attorney will meet with a tax-compliance officer, in person, at a local IRS office. IRS office audits usually take no more than half a day.
It's important to retain an experienced IRS tax lawyer because they will be able to evaluate records they know the IRS will be concerned with before the actual audit takes place. More importantly, an experienced IRS defense lawyer will be ready with answers to questions they know will be forthcoming by the tax compliance officer or revenue agent. If records are not available, having the foresight to reconstruct records (transparently, e.g. reporting on routine mileage driven in a mileage expense deduction dispute) and bring sworn affidavits to satisfy inquiries can also be tremendously helpful.
IRS On-Site Audit
A business on-site audit is conducted by an IRS Revenue Agent, who come to the actual business (or individual or even your tax-lawyer’s) location. Revenue Agents are have more training and have more authority to make decisions and compromises compared to tax compliance officers.
An experienced IRS tax lawyer will know how to properly supervise the revenue agent and even be on the lookout for red flags, such as keeping an eye on exactly what records the IRS revenue agent is copying to determine whether the case may be something that the revenue agent wants to refer to the IRS criminal investigations unit. Your IRS attorney will also be able to follow up with revenue agents who suddenly stop showing up to determine why the investigation is on pause (and maybe whether the audit is no longer routine and whether a tax crime investigation is forthcoming).
If the revenue agent can’t be contacted, your IRS lawyer will likely reach out to the IRS group leader or supervisor to further inquire.
How an IRS Tax Defense Lawyer Can Help
No one likes to hear that they are being audited by the IRS. Receiving a notice of audit by the IRS is not the time to panic, its the time to consult with an IRS audit lawyer who can stand by your side and monitor the audit and protect your interests.