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Video: What Are Tax Audits?

Updated for Tax Year 2015


Important information on what you can expect during a tax audit.

Hello, I'm Sara from TurboTax, with important information on what you can expect during a tax audit.

The possibility of having your income tax return audited by the IRS or your state is a source of anxiety for many tax payers. However, once you understand the process you may realize that it sounds worse than it actually is.

Sometimes it may not even be necessary for you to speak with someone at the IRS if the audit is conducted by mail. Generally these types of audits are used for relatively minor issues. The extent of your audit may be as simple as mailing a receipt from the charity you made a donation to as proof of your charitable deduction.

If your issue is more complex, the IRS will conduct an office audit. In these situations, the agent may question you in person at a local IRS office on multiple items you reported. Before this meeting, you should gather any and all documentation you have that may serve as proof for all your deductions, credits and income.

Only in the most serious of cases will you experience a field audit. This type of audit generally requires you to defend every item reported on your return. If you are subject to a field audit, the IRS will show up at your home or place of business to conduct the audit.

All TurboTax products come with our downloadable Audit Support Center which helps you understand and respond to communications from the IRS. You can also purchase our Audit Defense service which gives you full representation by a tax professional in the case of an audit.

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The above article is intended to provide generalized financial information designed to educate a broad segment of the public; it does not give personalized tax, investment, legal, or other business and professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always seek the assistance of a professional who knows your particular situation for advice on taxes, your investments, the law, or any other business and professional matters that affect you and/or your business.

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