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IRS tax audit leads to revelation for financial columnist

It's very rare to meet a person who would welcome an audit from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In fact, the majority of people fear the idea of an audit so much, that they will do their very best to avoid such circumstances. Unfortunately, the IRS notifies a large number of people about impending tax audits every year. Recently, a Massachusetts financial columnist shared his own experience.

The columnist penned his story detailing his brother's rare disease and a "bucket list" conversation the two had about things they did and didn't want to do before they die. Both brothers agreed that, if they only had a short period of time left on earth, the last thing they'd want to do is prepare for an audit. One year later, the columnist sat in an IRS office in Brockton, Massachusetts, while agents scrutinized every dollar in his financial record.

According to the writer, the audit process itself wasn't nearly as bad as the emotions and frustrations that went with it. The worst part was the fact that the entire situation could have been avoided if not for a "ridiculously dumb - and now costly - mistake." In an ironic twist of fate, the man who spends his life educating other people on financial matters was found to be at fault by the Internal Revenue Service.

Mistakes happen, and not everyone is as equipped to handle the stress of an IRS audit, in conjunction with the painstaking financial preparations they require. People who find themselves facing an audit - or worse yet, those who are fined by the IRS, may find the advice of legal counsel to be of benefit. When it comes to facing the Internal Revenue Service, a knowledgeable advocate can come in handy.

Source: Market Watch, "How an IRS audit got me and missed you," Chuck Jaffe, 14 July 2011

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