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3 Mistakes to Avoid During an IRS Audit

IRS audit mistakes to avoid

Representing yourself during an IRS audit can be a risky decision.  You’ll be at a major disadvantage because the IRS examiner understands tax laws and IRS procedures much better than most taxpayers.  Contact a tax audit defense attorney if you want help during the audit process.


Key Insights We Will Discuss:

  1.  Why you should think twice about representing yourself during an IRS audit.
  2. What to do if the IRS asks you to agree to an extension of the statute of limitations.
  3. How to appeal the decision of the IRS examiner.


IRS Audit Mistake #1: Representing Yourself

Some IRS audits relate to very simple issues.  You may think that you can easily clear things up with the IRS examiner without hiring a tax attorney in these situations.

However, you should beware of the following risk of taking this approach:

  • You may not realize it if there are other errors on your return.
  • You may unintentionally say something that causes the IRS examiner to look more closely at other issues on your return.
  • You may not understand what potential arguments or defenses you could use to counter the IRS examiner’s findings.

If you aren’t 100% in the accuracy of your return, you should contact a tax attorney as soon as you receive an IRS audit notice.

Mistake #2: Agreeing to Extend the Statute of Limitations

The IRS generally has three years from the due date of a tax return to assess additional tax.  This period may be longer if you’ve substantially understated your income, committed tax fraud, or failed to file a tax return.

When the deadline for tax assessment is approaching, your IRS examiner may ask you to sign a waiver that extends the period for tax assessment.  While you want to cooperate with the IRS, you are not obligated to sign this type of waiver, and doing so may end up being a big mistake.

If you do sign  waiver, you should limit the scope and duration as much as possible so that the IRS can’t find new issues with your return or continually delay the tax assessment.

Audit Mistake #3: Not Requesting an Appeal

You have the right to appeal the final determination of the IRS examiner.  First, you should receive a 30-day letter that gives you the option to appeal to the IRS Office of Appeals.

You also have the right to appeal your case to Tax Court.  You should receive a Notice of Deficiency that gives you 90 days to petition the Tax Court.  You won’t have to pay the disputed amount until your case is settled or a final decision is made.

Contact an Attorney

Get help with IRS tax audits by calling Ayar Law at 800-571-7175 to get free, no-obligation tax advice from a tax attorney.


Executive Summary:

  • Taxpayers who represent themselves during an IRS audit put themselves in a disadvantaged position.
  • It’s not always a good idea to agree to extend the statute of limitations on tax assessment.
  • You have the right too appeal the results of an audit or petition the U.S. Tax Court.
  • Get help with your audit by contacting Ayar Law at 800-571-7175.  We offer free, no-obligation tax advice.


Venar Ayar, Esq.

Venar Ayar, Esq.

Attorney-at-Law, Master of Laws in Taxation
Principal and founder, Ayar Law

Venar is an award-winning tax attorney ranked as a Top Lawyer in the field of Tax Law. Mr. Ayar has a Master of Laws in Taxation – the highest degree available in tax, held by only a small number of the country’s attorneys.