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After a bad audit, preparing for the appeal process

No one likes to hear that the government is auditing them. Whether the Internal Revenue Service or revenue officials in Minnesota or Wisconsin wield the fine - toothed comb, the prospect of the process is enough to leave a person with a major lump in his or her throat.

However, the right response to being informed of an audit is not to panic. Rather, the wiser thing to do is to take a measured approach and learn what your options might be. To begin with, you don't know what the audit will turn up. If you are concerned that the outcome might be a finding that you face significant tax liability, consulting an experienced attorney is most important.

It's good to remember that if a government audit leads to tax collection claims, you have the right to an appeal. If you disagree with any of the findings or actions, proposed or taken, you can pursue a formal protest. This can apply to the amount the government says you owe. It could also apply to tactics such as levies, liens, seizures or unilateral terminations of agreements that have been reached with the agencies involved.

As the IRS readily acknowledges on its website, a variety of Appeal Mediation Programs exist. Knowing when it's best to use such an avenue and determining which one might best suit your particular situation takes experience, however.

If you do appeal, then the complex process begins of organizing files, submitting the formal protest document and conducting the communications that follow.

The full course of that process, from soup to nuts, deserves care and attention. To learn more, contact us about a free consultation.

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