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Tax audits do not have to scare taxpayers

Many Massachusetts residents likely let out a sigh of relief when they finally filed their tax returns. For some, that relief may have been short-lived as they received a notice from the Internal Revenue Service about an audit. Before panicking, it is important that individuals understand that not all tax audits are the same and that some can be easy to resolve.

Audits can come about for various reasons. A taxpayer may have made a simple error when filling in information, or the IRS may have made an error when reviewing a taxpayer's information. Often, when a question regarding one issue on a tax return arises, the IRS will conduct a correspondence audit that essentially involves the agency contacting the taxpayer by mail and requesting additional documentation to address the issue. The taxpayer can then mail in additional evidence to support the information provided. This is the most common type of audit.

If the IRS believes that there are several errors associated with a tax return, in-person audits at either an IRS officer or the taxpayer's location may be necessary. The image of a person being interrogated in a dark room with a single light bulb may come to mind when people think of audits, but taxpayers do not have to face this ordeal alone. When a field audit takes place, the taxpayer could have the meeting at his or her CPA's or tax attorney's office.

Receiving any type of notice from a government agency can be stressful. Fortunately, tax audits do not have to make taxpayers feel as if they have done something wrong or like they are in line to face serious consequences. If Massachusetts residents do receive notice of an audit, they may find it helpful to reach out to legal professionals experienced in this area of law for assistance.

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