Sample IRS Audit Letters You Might Receive & How To Respond
If you receive any IRS letter, it is important to respond in a timely and detailed manner.
Most letters that come from the IRS ask you to verify basic information about your dependents, your itemized deductions, unreported income, eligibility for credits or your filing status.
And just because you received an IRS certified letter doesn’t mean you’re being audited.
IRS audits can be serious and if you have received an IRS audit letter, it is important to be sure you know that’s what it is and understand what it means.
What do IRS audit letters look like and when does the IRS send audit letters? There are several forms that IRS audit letters might take, several reasons the IRS sends them and certain things you need to know to identify them. (Take a look at the sample IRS audit letters below.)
If you are not sure what your IRS letter means and don’t know what to do about it, an experienced tax lawyer can help.
Lately, IRS audit letters are on the rise, in part because the government is cracking down on businesses that applied for and received Employee Retention Credits, even when they weren’t eligible for them. If you’re faced with an ERC Audit, an IRS audit attorney can represent you in the matter and help you reduce how much you have to pay back.
How To Know Whether Your IRS Letter Is An Audit Letter
One telltale sign that your IRS letter is an audit letter is receiving it by certified mail, which requires you to sign so the government can confirm that you received it.
How does the IRS notify you of an audit? You will receive the letter by snail mail, never through email. The IRS will never notify you about an audit by phone.
Tax audit letters will include your name, tax ID number or Social Security number, employee ID number, address and contact information.
Typically, an IRS audit letter will call out that your tax return from a certain year has been flagged for examination.
It will then state the main reason for the audit and describe what documentation you need to gather to resolve the matter.
IRS audits are handled either by mail or through an in-person interview to review your records.
An interview that takes place at an IRS office is known as an Office Audit.
An interview that takes place at the taxpayer’s home, place of business, or accountant’s office is known as a Field Audit.
What An IRS Audit Letter Might Look Like: Some Examples
If you’re spending time wondering, “What does an audit letter from the IRS look like?” here are some IRS letter examples:
Sample IRS Audit Letter: This IRS letter sample, also called an IRS Correspondence Letter, seeks additional information to support claims within a certain section or sections of your tax return for a given year.
This example letter refers to the items on the taxpayer’s Schedule C — their statement of profit or loss from their business.
It is common for the IRS to flag business deductions taken by small business owners and sole proprietors on Schedule C.
Sample Notice of Audit Meeting: This type of IRS audit letter sample, A Notice of Audit Meeting, is an invitation to meet with an IRS official to review your tax return and discuss any items the IRS is questioning about it.
You have the option to attend the meeting on your own, with your spouse (for a joint return), or to obtain the representation of a qualified tax attorney.
Sample IRS Letter CP2000: You will receive an IRS Letter CP2000 when the IRS is proposing additional taxes based on certain third-party information, and you need to know how to respond to IRS CP2000.
Your IRS CP2000 letter might state that the income or payment information the IRS has received from your employer or financial institution doesn’t match up with what you reported on your tax return.
The notice will explain what information the IRS used to decide that your tax return information should be changed and give you an opportunity to agree or disagree with the proposed changes.
Finding And Sending Required Documentation for An IRS Audit
Every IRS audit is different and the documentation you need to send is different for each one as well.
What you need to send depends on several factors, including the reason for the audit and how extensive the issues are that gave rise to your audit.
The types of documentation you need to send might include any number of things, such as canceled checks, receipts, business mileage logs, appraisals, loan agreements, employment documents, and medical records, among other items.
Your IRS audit notice letter might also ask you to explain the circumstances surrounding your tax filing.
If you don’t have all of the records requested, you might have to reach out to banks, employers, charities or other third parties for copies of relevant information to submit.
Tips For Writing Your IRS Audit Response Letter
You have the option to take on writing your audit response letter to the IRS on your own or to hire an attorney to write it for you.
To ensure accuracy and meeting all IRS requirements, a skilled IRS tax lawyer like Attorney Sammy Kim can write your response letter to the IRS or your response letter to CP2000, and represent you in any audit proceedings.
How To Write The IRS A Letter
If you choose to take on writing a letter to the IRS on your own, be sure to include the following:
- Your tax ID number
- Your full name
- Your contact information
- Your employee ID
- Your business ID (if applicable)
- The name of the IRS officer in charge of your case
In your audit response letter, take care to address all issues mentioned in the IRS audit letter you received.
The IRS pays careful attention to ensure completeness and an incomplete response typically leads to a lot of hassle in getting your tax problem resolved.
Attach all related documentation to your letter before sending it. It’s a situation when you want to double check everything before mailing.
If you haven’t already been invited to a meeting with the IRS, don’t forget to ask for a time and date to meet to resolve the matter.
Consult with an experienced tax attorney now for help drafting your IRS Audit Response Letter.
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