Surviving an IRS Audit – Finding Help

Photo (cc) by scott*eric

Q: “We have an employee that has received a notice from the IRS stating he owes mega bucks. He needs representation. How does he go about getting it?”

A: If your employee used a tax professional to prepare their taxes, that should be their first stop. If they didn’t, or they don’t trust their ability to help with this issue, they’ll need to start from scratch. The best way to find a tax professional is a referral from a friend or colleague… keeping in mind that the goal is to find a pro who has expertise with their specific type of problem (in this case an IRS back-tax issue) If they can’t find any personal referrals, they can contact your state’s Society of CPAs and get a referral from them, or the national association of CPAs: http://peerreview.aicpaservices.org/firmfile/DocDefault.aspx. Once they have a list of 3 to 5 possible experts, they should call each one with a list of questions. For example, explaining the problem and asking each what course of action they’d recommend. Asking about cost. If they have the time to do this correctly. If they have experience specific to their situation. They should ask about the possibility of getting the IRS assessment reduced. You get the idea. After asking consistent questions of each professional on the list, one should emerge as a favorite. Then they make an appointment…hopefully sooner rather than later…and they’re in business.

Depending on the complexity and nature of the IRS letter, they might also consider a tax attorney. But they’re the most expensive, so I’d start with a CPA first.

Hope that helps!
Stacy

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