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What to do if the IRS audits your Washington business

On Behalf of | Apr 16, 2024 | Tax Debt |

An IRS audit can be a stressful experience for any business owner in Washington. The thought of federal agents scrutinizing your financial records might feel overwhelming, but it is important to approach the situation calmly and methodically.

An audit does not always mean there is a problem; sometimes, the IRS selects businesses at random or because of minor discrepancies that need clarification. The key is to be prepared and know how to handle the process to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible.

Gather and organize your documents

Start by collecting all relevant financial records that the IRS might request. This includes tax returns, bank statements, receipts, invoices and payroll records. Make sure these documents are well-organized and easy to access. Having everything in order can help speed up the audit process and shows the IRS that you maintain good record-keeping practices.

Understand the scope of the audit

The IRS will provide information on what aspects of your tax return are under review. It might be something specific, like deductions or credits you claimed, or it could be more comprehensive. Understanding the focus of the audit will help you prepare the exact documents and information needed. This focus allows you to address the IRS’s concerns more effectively.

Respond promptly and accurately

When the IRS requests information, respond promptly and provide all the requested documentation accurately. Delays can prolong the audit process, and incomplete information might raise further questions. If you need more time to gather certain documents, communicate this to the IRS and request an extension.

Keep business as usual

While the audit is ongoing, keep running your business as usual. An IRS audit can be distracting, but it is important to maintain your regular business operations. This stability not only helps your business continue to function effectively but also demonstrates to the IRS that you are committed to compliance and professionalism.

By knowing what to do, you can handle an audit more effectively. Preparation and organization are your best tools in ensuring that the audit resolves with as little disruption as possible to your business.