IRS audit defense attorneys
Tax Law

IRS audit defense attorneys



Facing an IRS audit can be an intimidating and stressful experience. IRS audit defense attorneys have extensive knowledge of tax codes, IRS procedures and legal strategies that regular taxpayers or accountants may lack. Hiring an experienced tax attorney to handle your audit defense greatly increases the likelihood of getting the most positive outcome. This article outlines key reasons to enlist the help of IRS audit defense attorneys and what you can expect from the process.

Why Hire IRS Audit Defense Attorneys

  1. Knowledge of complex tax codes and related case law. Even CPAs without specific tax dispute experience can struggle with responding to IRS inquiry letters or negotiating with IRS agents. IRS audit defense attorneys specialize in handling all aspects of the audit process, including dealing directly with IRS auditors. They stay updated on the latest IRS rules, regulations and enforcement procedures that may impact your case. When the IRS alleges you owe additional taxes, IRS audit defense attorneys have the right knowledge and resources to build the strongest arguments on your behalf.
  2. Experienced strategies to resolve tax disputes. Tax attorneys who handle IRS controversies know which legal defenses and taxpayer rights may apply to your unique situation. Based on the circumstances under examination, they can employ strategies like highlighting deductions or credits the IRS overlooked or providing evidence to prove your tax return positions. IRS audit defense attorneys negotiate directly with IRS agents on your behalf to determine the audit scope, request more time to prepare documentation, and ultimately get you the best possible outcome, whether that is reducing penalties or avoiding extra taxes owed.
  3. Objective insights from a tax law professional. When you suddenly get that alarming letter from the IRS indicating you’ll face an audit, feelings like stress, anger, fear and defensiveness are normal. Unfortunately, emotional reactions often backfire and worsen case outcomes. IRS audit defense attorneys remain level-headed and use logic and reason—not emotions—to best protect your interests. Their legal background enables them to examine issues from both the taxpayer and IRS perspectives to develop optimal response strategies.

What to Expect: The IRS Audit Process

The following basic overview outlines the standard IRS audit sequence and what role IRS audit defense attorneys typically play during each phase:

  1. IRS sends notice. You’ll receive a letter explaining the reasons for the audit, applicable tax years, documentation required and deadline for responding. Don’t panic! This is your cue to engage IRS audit defense attorneys to take over communicating with the IRS.
  2. Information gathering phase. Your IRS audit defense attorneys will compile necessary financial records and supporting evidence to explain and justify the tax issues in question. This may involve gathering old tax returns, bank statements, receipts, or other documentation you no longer have readily available. Your audit defense team will review everything and proactively raise additional related issues likely to come up.
  3. Examination by IRS agent. At the actual audit, your IRS audit defense attorneys will be present alongside the IRS auditor. They are familiar with audit techniques used and can guard against inappropriate inquiries or requests. Your attorneys act as buffers, answering questions on your behalf. The idea is for the IRS examination to go as smoothly and quickly as possible.
  4. Negotiations and settlement. Based on audit findings, the IRS may claim you owe additional taxes plus accuracy or negligence penalties. Your IRS audit defense attorneys serve as your advocates, negotiating to minimize amounts owed and eliminate unnecessary penalties. Settlements often result when experienced counsel presents convincing legal arguments and documentation on the taxpayer’s behalf.
  5. Appeals if no settlement. Without a satisfactory settlement, your case may advance to the IRS Appeals Division for further review. Your audit defense team will again aim to resolve issues favorably through additional negotiations. If still unresolved, litigation may be necessary—though very few tax disputes actually reach this stage.

Reputable IRS audit defense attorneys like those at McKinley Irvin [1] handle IRS audits on a regular basis. They have successfully negotiated settlements and appeals for numerous taxpayers facing IRS compliance actions. Consulting with knowledgable tax law professionals significantly improves your chances of getting through an IRS audit unscathed.

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Warning Signs You May Get Audited

While the IRS audits only around 1% of individual returns each year [2], certain red flags substantially increase your audit risk profile:

  • High income thresholds, typically over $200K and up
  • Problematic issues with past returns
  • Operating a cash-based small business
  • Claiming excessive deductions or business losses
  • Reporting income substantially less than figures for prior years
  • Failing to report income recorded under your Social Security number

If you receive notification an IRS audit awaits you or suspect heightened audit risk due to any above factors, immediately retain IRS audit defense attorneys. The level of legal representation and defense they provide can directly impact whether you emerge from the audit unscathed or with your finances and future tax compliance in question.

Key Takeaways: Why IRS Audit Defense Attorneys Matter

  • Complex tax codes make self-representation extremely difficult
  • Emotional stress leads taxpayers to make unwise arguments
  • Experienced tax attorneys intimately understand IRS rules and procedures
  • Settlements often result when skilled counsel negotiates on your behalf
  • The more thorough the original defense, the better your outcome

Bottom line: IRS audit defense attorneys like those from McKinley Irvin [1] work constantly on behalf of taxpayers facing IRS audits and tax disputes. Their specialized expertise increases the likelihood of successfully defending your tax return positions while limiting further taxes owed. With so much at stake in terms of finances, emotional health, and future IRS interactions, hiring audit defense tax lawyers is truly worth your investment.


[1] McKinley Irvin. (n.d.). IRS Audit Defense Attorneys

[2] Internal Revenue Service. (2023, January 11). IRS Audits


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