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What Are Your Rights During an IRS Field Audit?



If you owe money to the IRS, you may be subject to an IRS field audit. Of all the audits performed by the IRS, field audits are usually the most involved. During this process, it’s likely that an IRS agent or revenue officer will come to your home or business. For many, this can be an unnerving experience, as IRS agents are likely to ask a variety of questions related to your taxes.


Working with a skilled tax resolution lawyer is the best way to navigate the complexities of a field audit. Here is some helpful information about IRS field audits and your rights during the process.

What to Know about IRS Field Audits

A field audit differs from other kinds of IRS audits in that it is conducted in person rather than over the phone or by mail. During this process, the IRS agent assigned to your case will review your taxes for the year in question. Usually, the length of the audit depends on the complexity of the discrepancies and how long it takes the IRS to obtain any requested records. Often, field audits can feel intrusive. For example, when performing field audits on businesses, the IRS agent will likely interview select employees and ask them a range of questions related to accounting procedures and internal processes.


During a field audit, it is essential to be represented by a tax attorney. Attorneys can provide crucial guidance on how to answer any questions asked by the IRS and keep your responses simple. If an IRS agent is able to successfully substantiate the claims of their investigation, you could face consequences, such as a criminal investigation, wage garnishment, or other fines. Having experienced legal representation may protect you from these penalties.

What Are My Rights During an IRS Field Audit?

During a field audit, it is imperative to understand the rights you are entitled to. First and foremost, you can choose to grant your tax attorney or other tax professional with the power of attorney, which will allow them to deal with the IRS on your behalf. This also means that the IRS agent assigned to your case cannot interview you without your attorney or representative present. Some other essential rights to be aware of include the following:


● During the audit, the IRS must keep all of the personal and financial information they collect confidential.

● You can record your conversations with the IRS as long as you give them 10 days of notice.

● When interviewing you, the IRS agent must treat you with respect.

● If you are being audited for the second or third time for the same concern and the previous audits did not result in any findings, you can usually have the audit suspended by bringing the previous audits to the agent’s attention.


Another great resource for understanding your rights as a taxpayer is the IRS publication, “Your Rights as a Taxpayer.” As soon as you are contacted or informed by an IRS agent that you are being audited, it’s best to seek guidance from a tax professional.

Consult a Skilled Tax Resolution Attorney

If you have been informed of a field audit being conducted against you by the IRS, it’s in your best interest to seek legal representation. At Morgan Sebastian Law, Attorney Becky Sebastian is eager to help you navigate the complexities of your tax situation. We understand that accurately filing your taxes can be a challenge, and we’re here to help guide you through the audit process.


To schedule a consultation with an experienced tax resolution lawyer, call (877) 223-6605 or fill out our online contact form.

Becky Sebastian is one of the most professional attorneys that I have ever met.   She is very knowledgeable, but is also very kind and does a great job of communicating with her clients. - Armando Z.

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