First, always be cooperative and cordial with the agent. Provide the specific items requested and try to answer all questions completely. The assigned agent will provide your client with an Information Document Request (IDR) that outlines the items that he or she needs to review. You should provide these items in an organized manner (often in a notebook or a binder) with a table of contents. The quicker the agent can review the items requested, the sooner the audit can be closed (and potentially a more favorable outcome will result). If the agent needs to see additional items, request that he or she provide a new IDR to you.
Additionally, if there are any items reported on the return that may be a “gray area” of tax law (that is, the law may be unclear or there is a potential debate in interpretation), if these items come up during the audit, provide the agent with a print-out of your research (Code, regulations, court cases, etc.). A compelling argument that is supported by tax law can help your client have a favorable outcome.
Note that at times the agent may ask you a question of which you are unsure. Stating “I’ll get back to you on that” is always an acceptable response. Taking the time to answer a question completely and accurately will benefit your client.
For more guidance on audits and representation work, visit our Representation & Examinations resources page.
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