IRS Audits and California Income Tax Audits

Income tax audits can be a terrifying, intrusive, and time-consuming process. They can also be expensive, sometimes leading to large tax adjustments, not to mention penalties. It does not have to be this way.
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Overview

Income tax audits, whether by the state of California or the IRS, cause some of the biggest problems for our clients each year. Even innocent mistakes made by the client or their CPA can cause significant liability due and owing to the government. 
 
As explained below, audits are not random. Usually, the government is targeting something on the return and client issues range from not having proper substantiation to technical legal issues to even criminal concerns. Going into the audit, it is critical to understand what the government auditor is seeing from their initial analysis. You never want to put yourself in the position of being behind the eight ball in an income tax audit. 
 
Having represented more than a hundred clients in income tax audits, we understand the playing field and have a storied track record of success in navigating our clients through them. Our firm not only understands how to achieve victory in the actual audit, but what success looks like in the appeals division and beyond if we have to litigate the matter.
Our goal is never to prolong a fight on behalf of our clients. We seek to get them through their audits with as little scrutiny as possible. However, when you find yourself in a situation needing that level of representation, you will be glad you relied on an audit defense team as experienced as ours. 
 
Rather than passively participating in the government’s investigation, or being subject to the whims of an auditor with an agenda — and having to pay more than you might be able to afford — call our firm at the out-set. We can provide a swift analysis of your issues, a robust defense, and a skillful handling of all your audit-related issues.

The Best Income Tax Audit Defense Starts Here.

Our strategy sessions dig deep into why you are being audited and create a roadmap to getting you out of harm's way once and for all.
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Who Needs Our Income Tax
Audit Services?

Anyone being audited, especially if they are directed to an in-person meeting with an auditor, either at a government office, or worse, at your home or place of business.
 
Let us be clear. There is nothing random about at income tax audit. Limited resources at both the federal and state level means that the government has to be choosey about where they direct their resources. If you are being audited, there is a reason for it.
 
By auditing you, the government is expecting to make an adjustment to the tax that you owe to them. The auditors come into your audit having their own roadmap to increasing your liability. The other danger with audits is that if the auditors do not find the low hanging fruit immediately, it is possible that your audit turns into something much larger.
 
Our job is to understand your exposure and to contain the audit by limiting the scope of the audit and the auditor's avenues of attack.
 
Even if you do not feel that you have done anything wrong or that the government will not make an adjustment, it is wise not to underestimate the situation then to walk into a trap.

Our Approach to Income Tax Audits

  • 1: Initial Strategy Session
  • 2: Our Pre-Audit
  • 3: Audit Meeting & Follow Up

We provide every prospective audit client with a 60-minute initial strategy session.

You will sit down with Sam or a member of our senior legal team for an in-depth review of your tax returns and what may have triggered the audit. The goal is for us to identify, mitigate, and manage any risk that you may have going into the audit.
 
All tax returns tell a story about you, how you live, and how you earn income. In analyzing your returns and the contact with the auditor (even if it is just an initial document request), we should be able to get an initial sense of the seriousness of the matter. 
 
By the end of the meeting, you will have a strategy laid out and a step-by-step game plan for moving through the audit as quickly and cleanly as possible. The benefit of our expertise is delivered to you and is yours to keep without any further obligation to our firm. This is our opportunity to deliver value and for you to get the full experience of what it is like to work with us. 

We pre-audit your return to minimize any surprises and maximize our results.

Assuming that you retain us, our team will work with you to better prepare you for the audit. We call this a “stress test.” In our experience, preparation and presentation are the keys to success in any audit. Your pre-audit will use the exact same procedure and method that IRS auditors use for the “real audit.” In our many years of handling IRS audits, we have become “pros” in responding to the IRS’s playbook.
 
Both the materials presented in an audit and the presentation associated with those materials are critically important parts of the process. Our goal is to control the scope of the information being presented and to have the auditor work through things cleanly and efficiently. One of the reasons we value preparation time is that it helps us to anticipate and overcome any objections that would occur during the audit. 
 
Streamlining issues and knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your position going into the audit are key indicators of success during the audit. 

We attend your audit meeting and handle any necessary follow up.

By the time your audit comes up, we will be well prepared for it. Our team analyzes each variable and tailors our presentation to your benefit. Do not worry, there is no need for you to attend the audit meeting or to have any interaction with the auditor. You are in good hands and are well-taken care of. 
 
Assuming everything goes smoothly, the audit can resolve itself in a few hours without any need for further documentation. For more complex situations or those with large amounts of documentation, we may need a few meetings to resolve your case. Keep in mind, while we expect and anticipate the best result, we always approach our audits as if we are building a case for the appeals level. 
 
Should there be a need for an appeal or a strategic reason to undertake one, we have the experience of having handled hundreds of IRS and California appeals across various issues from. While we hope for your case to be closed with no change from the original filings (or even a refund), we are well prepared to go the distance no matter what happens during the course of your audit.

Why We Designed This Service

Tax Law Office

Audits are a chess game. They are also the time when our firm really shines because our presentation goes well beyond what happens in the audit room. Our team’s expertise lies in both an understanding of tax law and tax procedures. This means, we not only understand the machine, but we how it works and who operates it.
 
We do not just level the playing field for our clients, but because our technical knowledge goes beyond the auditor, we provide you with a tactical advantage. 

Income Tax Audit Pricing

For most income tax audits, you can expect to incur between $3500 and $10,000 in legal cost for each year of the audit. We strive to be as efficient as possible in providing our audit representation services and this range is widely dependent on the issues present in the audit, the level of substantiation and organization of records, and the risk.
 
In many cases for clients who have smaller issues and are well organized, pricing can stick to the bottom of this range. Also, between audit years, we can also potentially streamline our preparation and presentation of similar circumstances.

Our pledge to our clients is to be prudent in our management of resources and to assist in mitigating costs, both time and monetary costs, as much as possible. Cost conservation is one of many strategic decisions that needs to be examined in the course of an audit. 

If cost is a concern, which it is for many clients, please feel free to discuss it with us. We also encourage you to take advantage of our strategy sessions, which is a low-cost way to receive the benefit of our insight about your particular situation.

See Our Pricing Guide

Features & Benefits

  • We communicate effectively with government people, CPAs and of course, our clients, because we understand what they are going through.
  • We manage the situation and move matters through swiftly.
  • Our firm immediately levels the playing field in an audit. During the initial consultation, we examine the return under audit along with any correspondence received and immediately work to develop a game plan for effectively dealing with the auditor.
  • We identify categories or items that may be high risk and develop a strategy with our clients for minimizing their biggest issues and moving them out of examination as quickly as possible.
  • We create an environment of collaboration.
  • We view our role with our clients as their quarterback, naming and strategizing the next move.
  • Preparation and presentation are the keys to success in any audit. IRS auditors may appear to wield a lot of power, but they are often no match for an attorney with a superior legal knowledge base and a keen understanding of IRS procedure.
  • We utilize our tremendous experience in audits for the benefit of our clients and to yield exceptional results. Our knowledge is your power.

Give Us a Call. You Have Everything to Gain and Nothing to Lose.

Our tax strategy sessions are the first step in making sure that you get the best income tax audit defense possible. They are 100% risk free with a complete money back guarantee. 
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