Most Georgia residents might never have to face an audit from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The mention of the word audit can send anyone into a slight panic, but it’s almost completely unnecessary.
An audit doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in trouble. Sometimes audits can be no big deal – but it’s still important to know what you’re looking for when the IRS decides to audit you.
Types of IRS audits
- There are many different types of IRS audits that are handled in various ways. The way that the IRS handles your audit can hint as to the severity. The main types of audits are:
- Correspondence audit, which is handled through the mail
- Office audit, where you’ll have to go into an IRS office
- Field audit, where the IRS agent will come to you
Correspondence and letter audits
Correspondence audits are usually pretty tame. Sometimes you failed to report a W2 that was reported to the IRS, or there was a math error when you were filing, or they simply want more information regarding a deduction you claimed on your taxes.
With both of these audits, you have two options. One, you admit fault and pay whatever interest or penalty the IRS asks for – or you file a dispute, mail back any evidence you have, and go from there.
In-person audits are a little rarer. Usually, both in-office and field audits will involve an IRS agent asking you questions about specific items on your tax return.
These can be more serious, with field audits usually being more intrusive and serious by nature. For these audits, it might be wise to consult a CPA or have other representation in these discussions.
It’s impossible to avoid any audits, as some are conducted at random. The best way to handle audits is to prepare in advance – keep receipts, don’t over-estimate deductions or under-report income, and triple-check your math.