What is an audit?
Get Legal Help Today
Secured with SHA-256 Encryption
UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021
It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.
We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.
An audit is an investigation to determine whether the information provided to the government on the information/tax return is correct – and as a result the audit can determine whether the proper amount of tax was paid. The burden of proof during the audit is on the taxpayer – you have to prove to the government that all of the information on the return (the amounts of income, the exclusions, exemptions, deductions and credits) is true and correct. Bear in mind that although you have the burden of proof, that does not mean that you are compelled to show every document to the government agent – some documents are simply none of their business. Some audits are conducted by mail, some require you to go to the government agency’s office, and other audits require that the government’s agent go out and meet with you at your home or business.
Some audits are relatively routine matters. Many audits result in no change – the required information on the return was accurate and there is no change in the amount of tax. While some audits do result in an assessment, some audits actually result in a refund.
Whether you need outside assistance with an audit depends on your particular circumstances. If your tax matters are simple, you may be able to handle it yourself. But if your tax matters are complex or if you don’t fully understand taxes, you should get a professional to assist you.