Understanding IRS Mail Audits: How to Stay Compliant

By
Education & Training with Number Cruncher LLC

The dreaded IRS audit – a prospect that can send shivers down the spine of even the most diligent taxpayer. One common method employed by the IRS is the mail audit. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at what a mail audit involves and how you can navigate this process with confidence.

Understanding Mail Audits:

A mail audit, also known as a correspondence audit, is conducted entirely through the mail. Instead of an in-person meeting at an IRS office, an auditor will send you a letter requesting additional information or clarification on specific items in your tax return. It's crucial to approach this situation calmly and methodically to ensure a smooth resolution.

1. **The Initial Letter:**
   The process begins with an official letter from the IRS. This letter will outline the specific issues or discrepancies that have caught the attention of the IRS and triggered the audit. It's essential to read the letter carefully, understand the concerns raised, and take note of the deadline for responding.

2. **Gather Documentation:**
   Once you've identified the areas of concern, gather all relevant documentation. This may include receipts, invoices, bank statements, and any other records that support the information on your tax return. Thorough documentation is key to addressing the IRS's queries effectively.

3. **Responding to the IRS:**
   Craft a clear and concise response to the IRS letter. Address each point raised in the audit and provide the requested documentation. Be sure to meet the specified deadline for your response. If you need additional time, it's advisable to request an extension promptly.

4. **Professional Guidance:**
   If the audit involves complex issues or you're unsure about how to respond, consider seeking professional guidance. Enlisting the help of a tax professional can provide you with valuable insights and ensure that your response aligns with IRS requirements.

5. **Be Transparent:**
   Transparency is key when dealing with a mail audit. If you made an error on your tax return, acknowledge it in your response. The IRS is more likely to work with taxpayers who are upfront and cooperative in resolving discrepancies.

6. **Maintain Communication:**
   Throughout the audit process, maintain open communication with the IRS. If you need clarification on any aspects of the audit or have additional information to provide, do so in a timely manner. Keeping the lines of communication open can help expedite the resolution process.

7. **Review and Confirm:**
   Before submitting your response, carefully review all documents and information provided. Ensure that your response addresses all the points raised in the IRS letter and that your documentation is accurate and complete.

Facing an IRS mail audit can be stressful, but with the right approach, it's a manageable process. By understanding the steps involved, gathering thorough documentation, and responding promptly and transparently, you can navigate a mail audit with confidence. 

If you or someone you know is dealing with an IRS mail audit and need help, contact us at 702-469-9426 or candy@numbercruncherllc.tax

Comments (31)

Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

I would like to add to make sure to mail all correspondence certified with return receipt. Sometimes things get "lost" and your post office receipt plus returned signature card would be proof not only that it was sent but also received. 

Nov 30, 2023 03:57 PM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ
602-380-4886

Candace I had no idea there was such a thing as IRS mail audits.  The first thing I'd be doing is calling our CPA and having her handle it for us - just to be sure nothing is missed.

Nov 30, 2023 04:19 PM
Charles Ross - eXp Realty LLC
eXp Realty LLC Salina Group - Salina, KS
Love To Help People

Candy, your insightful breakdown of IRS mail audits provides a clear roadmap for taxpayers to remain compliant and calm under scrutiny. Your practical tips and emphasis on transparency and documentation are invaluable. Thanks for sharing such empowering advice! #TaxGuidance #IRSInsights 📃✨

Nov 30, 2023 07:20 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

They always say to stay vigilant and just keep bugging them. Nothing else. Stay on top of it so they know you care.

Nov 30, 2023 09:41 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Candace,

Thank you for the logical steps involved in an IRS mail audit.  I did not know there was even such a thing! I like Anna "Banana" Kruchten would contact my CPA and let him handle it to make sure it was done correctly!.

Dec 01, 2023 04:50 AM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

Such great info here. I hope I never need to do one of these audits, but I feel better prepared.

Dec 01, 2023 07:46 AM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

Thank you for such an informative post and explanation of a mail audit. I didn't know it existed until today!

Dec 04, 2023 08:48 AM
CANDACE (Candy) STEVENS, EA
Number Cruncher LLC - Overton, NV
Helping Taxpayers Resolve IRS problems

You're welcome Stephen Turner.

 

Have a great day!

Dec 04, 2023 10:20 AM
CANDACE (Candy) STEVENS, EA
Number Cruncher LLC - Overton, NV
Helping Taxpayers Resolve IRS problems

You are correct Leanne Smith.  The burden of proof is on the taxpayer.  However if you have good documentation of everything business transaction you do, you shouldn't have to worry.

 

Have a great day!

Dec 04, 2023 10:21 AM
CANDACE (Candy) STEVENS, EA
Number Cruncher LLC - Overton, NV
Helping Taxpayers Resolve IRS problems

You are welcome Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS.

Have yourself a wonderful day!

Dec 04, 2023 10:22 AM
CANDACE (Candy) STEVENS, EA
Number Cruncher LLC - Overton, NV
Helping Taxpayers Resolve IRS problems

I am happy to see you survived an in-person audit Ed Silva, 203-206-0754 ! :)

Yes sometimes it is a good thing to keep duplicate records.

Have a great day!

Dec 04, 2023 10:23 AM
CANDACE (Candy) STEVENS, EA
Number Cruncher LLC - Overton, NV
Helping Taxpayers Resolve IRS problems

That is VERY good advice Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES.  The IRS will not bo by our word saying we mailed it on such and such a date!

Have a great day!

Dec 04, 2023 10:24 AM
CANDACE (Candy) STEVENS, EA
Number Cruncher LLC - Overton, NV
Helping Taxpayers Resolve IRS problems

I am happy you have someone you can call if you get a letter from the IRS you don't want to deal with Anna "Banana" Kruchten.

Have an awesome day!

Dec 04, 2023 10:24 AM
CANDACE (Candy) STEVENS, EA
Number Cruncher LLC - Overton, NV
Helping Taxpayers Resolve IRS problems

Thank you, Charles Ross - eXp Realty LLC.  My philosophy is knowledge is power.  The more you know the less scary it is to deal with the IRS.

Have a great day!

Dec 04, 2023 10:26 AM
CANDACE (Candy) STEVENS, EA
Number Cruncher LLC - Overton, NV
Helping Taxpayers Resolve IRS problems

Very True Laura Cerrano.  The IRS issues levies and liens to get the taxpayers' attention and have them deal with their IRS problems.  

Have a Happy Day!

Dec 04, 2023 10:27 AM
CANDACE (Candy) STEVENS, EA
Number Cruncher LLC - Overton, NV
Helping Taxpayers Resolve IRS problems

Dorie Dillard Austin TX, mail audits are becoming more of a normal now than in person meetings.  

You have yourself an up kind of day!

Dec 04, 2023 10:28 AM
CANDACE (Candy) STEVENS, EA
Number Cruncher LLC - Overton, NV
Helping Taxpayers Resolve IRS problems

I hope you never have an IRS audit either Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty.  I am glad the information in this blog helped you.

Have an awesome day!

Dec 04, 2023 10:29 AM
CANDACE (Candy) STEVENS, EA
Number Cruncher LLC - Overton, NV
Helping Taxpayers Resolve IRS problems

Its good to learn something new everyday Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty.  

Have a great day!

Dec 04, 2023 10:30 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Great education, Candace, about an situation I hopefully never have to confront.

I would certainly be in touch with my CPA promptly to work through any issues that need to be addressed.

Jeff

Dec 05, 2023 07:45 PM
CANDACE (Candy) STEVENS, EA
Number Cruncher LLC - Overton, NV
Helping Taxpayers Resolve IRS problems

I think no one wants to have to be confronted by the IRS Jeff Dowler, CRS.  However, knowledge is power, even with the IRS.

 

Have a great day!

Candy

Dec 06, 2023 03:38 PM