Written by: Gene Smith, CPA

The thought of getting a certified letter from the IRS requesting information for an audit brings fear and anxiety to most taxpayers. For those that have been less than honest in the preparation of the return, you have good reason to be fearful. However, if you have prepared the return (or had a professional prepare the return) with integrity, you have nothing to fear.

In the course of an audit here are some do’s and don’ts:


  • Respond to the letter in a timely matter
  • Gather the documentation requested and organize it neatly
  • Be gracious to the auditor, they are simply doing their job
  • Answer questions honestly and but briefly
  • Hire a professional to represent you if you are not confident you can handle the matter


  • Ignore the request hoping it will go away
  • Bring your receipts and documentation shuffled in a mess
  • Be argumentative, hostile or defensive
  • Be a chatter box
  • Offer bribes  and make up stories
  • Sign anything you do not fully understand