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The Internal Revenue Service has the authority to select taxpayers for further review of their tax returns whether the returns were filed or not. While the specific selection criteria are not disclosed to the public, a number of items increase the risk of being examined. These include failing to file returns, filing returns with information inconsistent with information provided to the IRS by third parties or taking disproportionately large deductions in relation to the associated income.

At Ortiz & Gosalia, PLLC, our Seattle area tax attorneys have years of experience navigating IRS examinations and seeking favorable outcomes.

IRS examinations generally fall into one of three categories:

  1. Correspondence audits: The IRS conducts the audit through telephone conversations, mail and facsimile. These audits are generally less intensive and are used to resolve smaller issues with a taxpayer’s return.
  2. In-office audits: The IRS conducts the audit at an IRS location. The taxpayer is required to bring supporting documents to the IRS office and defend positions taken on the examined return.
  3. Field audits: The IRS conducts the audit at either the taxpayer’s home or place of business.

It is essential that taxpayers maintain good records and retain receipts and other evidence of the positions taken on their returns. Failure to substantiate a position with proper records can lead to an increase in tax liabilities. Further, when selected for an audit, it is advisable to seek outside professional assistance. IRS examiners will ask questions designed to induce incriminating responses by the taxpayer. As well, tax rules are expansive and a number of uncertainties exist. A knowledgeable advocate can identify and navigate the uncertainties to seek a favorable outcome. With the appropriate assistance, the difficulties associated with an audit can be alleviated.

We welcome you to contact Ortiz & Gosalia with regard to an IRS examination. Call us at (425) 633-2004, send an email to, or use our online form. With Seattle area offices in Redmond, Bellevue and Kirkland, we serve clients throughout Washington State as well as those located internationally or in other U.S. states.

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