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3 reasons not to fear the Internal Revenue Service

Many people fear the Internal Revenue Service auditing them, and as an independent, single woman, you might not know what to expect if you are asked to go through an audit, too. You have a right to work with an attorney while this process is taking place, but understand that the IRS isn't accusing you of any crime. Instead, it's trying to make sure that any mistakes that have been made can be corrected.

The IRS doesn't imply that you intentionally made errors

It's a fact that the tax code is very difficult to maneuver, and many people file taxes without assistance. It's possible that you made a mistake, and it's also possible that the IRS has made one. You might have paid in too much and not realized you should have received a deduction, or you might not have paid enough, so the IRS simply wants to correct those errors.

You have time to prepare

Before you go through the audit, you'll get a 30-day notice. The notice comes by mail or telephone. You should respond to any letter you receive right away, because failing to do so can mean extra interest builds up on the amount the IRS says you owe. Before the audit itself, collect all your original documents and organize them. You only need the paperwork for the year in which you're being audited, nothing more or less.

You have rights during and after the audit

During the audit, and after, you have rights. You have the right to be treated courteously, to know why the IRS is asking for information on your accounts and to seek representation if you wish. If the IRS makes a decision you don't agree with, you can appeal that decision directly or in court.

At the end of the audit, you will either face no changes to the forms, changes you agree on, or changes you don't agree with and can appeal. Before you sign any agreements, you can have your attorney review them, which can help you know what is expected of you in the future.

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