By: James Mauro and Robin Miskell

Depending on the amount that may be at issue, call a tax lawyer immediately.  A tax lawyer that has handled audits before is able to provide important strategy and structure to the audit that will present your case in the best light to the auditor.  If you have determined to do it yourself, two techniques a tax lawyer might use to limit the scope of the audit are the following.  One, always ask the auditor to provide you with a Form 4564, Information Document Request (“IDR”), to request information.    Requesting an IDR is useful for clarifying the issues, limiting the scope of the audit and providing a time frame for your response.  Two, if the auditor has requested an extension of time, you may agree to a limited extension as to the issue and request the auditor to identify the issues for which he or she needs more time for examination.  This provides you with the knowledge to assist you in addressing the issues that the auditor is investigating.  It also is evidence that you are cooperating because you are agreeable to an extension, but under specific circumstances that are within your control.    
Please contact James Mauro in the Lansing, Michigan office at 517-487-4701, or Robin Miskell in the Phoenix, Arizona office at 602-889-5329 if you have any questions.