Don’t panic. The very first thing you should do is give me a call, and I’ll ask you to email me a copy of the letter that the IRS sent you.
As part of your tax preparation fee, I will provide up to two hours of service free of charge to look over the letter and help you understand why the IRS has contacted you, what information they’re looking for, and what basic steps you need to take to proceed. If it’s just a simple matter of sending the IRS some additional piece of information, or explaining a particular line item on your tax return, or providing a copy of a receipt to prove an amount that you’ve claimed as a deduction, then those two free hours will generally be sufficient time to take care of everything.
However, if the IRS has selected your return for a full examination, then it may be in your best interests to hire someone (usually a CPA or an attorney) to represent you at the audit. I will advise you if I think this is the best way for you to move forward. In general, I am available to provide audit representation at my standard hourly billing rate plus expenses.
Given the amount of professional time that is often required, audit representation can be extremely expensive. Some tax preparers sell a prepaid “examination retainer” or “insurance” at the time of tax preparation, to help protect you from the potential expense of an audit. If you’re interested in this kind of arrangement, please let me know.