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Should you appeal your tax audit results?

The idea of facing an IRS audit can cause many New York residents to feel anxious. Often, this feeling may have you paying close attention to your tax records and documents in hopes of lessening your likelihood of getting the dreaded letter indicating that the government office intends to audit you. Unfortunately, even despite best efforts, you could still find yourself having your financial information coming under review.

In the event that the IRS does find an issue with your tax return, you could potentially face fines and penalties. However, before simply accepting the results of their audit, you may wish to consider filing an appeal. Many people do not know about this option, but it could potentially help your situation.

Are audit appeals common?

Though an entire office of the IRS is delegated to handling audit appeals, only 10 percent of taxpayers choose to take advantage of appealing the results of audits. No clear reason exists for why this percentage remains so low as the appeals process tends to move forward quickly and easily. Additionally, there is no cost associated with filing an audit appeal with the IRS.

What are the benefits of an appeal?

If successful, you could obtain many benefits from your audit appeal. The appeals officer in charge of your case will review the results of the audit as well as your tax information and determine whether the audit findings indicate the correct results. In many cases, individuals see the taxes and penalties owed reduced by approximately 40 percent. Additionally, you may see a delay in your tax bill due date until the completion of your appeal.

Are there downfalls to an appeal?

Though a successful appeal could reduce or eliminate any owed taxes or penalties, the potential does exist for an increase in the original audit amount. If the appeals officer reviews your case and discovers discrepancies that the original auditor overlooked, you could potentially have to pay additional taxes, fees and penalties. Plus, if your case proves unsuccessful, you will have to pay the audit amount as well as any interest and additional penalties that accrued during the appeals process.

Can you get help with an appeal?

Because dealing with the IRS in any capacity can leave you feeling intimidated, you may wish to gain assistance with this endeavor. Enlisting the help of a legal professional could allow you to better understand your options and more easily get your affairs in order.

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