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Navigating the IRS Audit Process: Tips for Postponing Providing Documentation and Next Steps

How to Request a Postponement for a Tax Audit

Facing an audit from the IRS is a stressful situation that demands your attention. Its essential to handle the situation in a timely and professional manner to avoid any unnecessary penalties or consequences.

In some cases, as the taxpayer, you may require a postponement to prepare and gather all necessary documents. In this article, we provide a step-by-step guide on how to postpone the audit, offer tips to help you provide the right supporting documents, and highlight how to proceed after the extension period.

Reasons for Requesting a Postponement

The IRS intends to ensure taxpayers comply with the tax regulations and report their incomes correctly. However, as a taxpayer, you may be unable to attend the IRS audit required of you due to urgent reasons such as hospitalization, business travel, or a family emergency.

These legitimate reasons make the postponement of the audit necessary. To request an extension, you must read your IRS audit letter carefully, which outlines the original deadline to provide all the necessary documentation required for the audit.

You can then contact the IRS auditor or the office stated on the audit letter to request an extension based on what is legitimate.

Steps for Requesting a Postponement

When contacting the IRS, you must provide a valid reason for the postponement. This request should be in writing, outlining your reasons for needing the extension.

Make sure you submit the request within the original deadline to avoid unwanted penalties or negative consequences from the IRS. Its crucial to have the necessary documentation to support your reason.

Supporting documentation may include medical records, a legal document supporting a family emergency or a letter from your employer stating a business trip is of urgent necessity.

Providing Additional Information

It is a requirement to submit your tax returns, financial statements, and other necessary documentation, including receipts and invoices, to the IRS. Usually, this documentation review is what triggers the audit by the IRS.

Therefore, its critical to keep accurate and detailed records of all your financial transactions to avoid audit triggers. If the IRS investigator finds any discrepancy or inconsistencies that aren’t supported by documentation, it’s considered a red flag that may lead to an audit.

Follow-up and Next Steps

After your request for postponement, the IRS would give a new deadline that should provide enough time for you to gather all necessary documentation. However, it is essential to adhere to the new deadline to avoid penalties.

If your reason for postponement is legitimate, the IRS can grant a reasonable number of days of extension. If you are unable to obtain the requested documents within the deadline, you may seek the help of a tax attorney for advice on how to proceed.

The attorney will guide you through the process and help you negotiate any payments and penalties due to the extension requested. What is a Tax Audit?

A tax audit is an evaluation and review of an individual’s or a business’s financial situation, tax returns, and other relevant documents. The primary purpose of the audit is to ensure compliance with tax codes, correct reporting of taxable revenue, and accurate qualifications for tax deductions and credits.

Triggers for Tax Audits

The IRS can select individuals or businesses randomly for an audit, even if their tax reports are accurate and up-to-date. However, specific red flags in your tax return, such as high deductions and unreported income, can raise concerns with the IRS.

Business transactions flagged as unorthodox could lead to a tax audit. Thus, it is vital to keep detailed and accurate records of all your financial transactions.

Consequences of a Tax Audit

Penalties and interest are the most common consequences of an IRS audit. Typically, penalties are charged if there are irregularities in the tax returns or inaccurate deductions.

In severe cases, it can result in criminal charges. Taxpayers can avoid these penalties by submitting accurate returns and responding promptly to any notices or orders sent by the IRS.


There are legitimate reasons for requesting a postponement for an audit. You must submit your documentation within the new deadline provided.

Tax audits can be random or triggered by specific scenarios such as high deductions or unreported income. Always keep accurate and detailed records of all financial transactions to avoid red flags.

Penalties and interest charges can result from an audit, but taxpayers can avoid them by submitting accurate and detailed tax returns.

Reasons for Requesting a Postponement

A postponement is an extension of the time given to a recipient of an IRS audit to gather necessary documentation, produce tax returns or provide additional time to prepare for the audit. When the deadline given by the IRS for the audit approaches, some taxpayers may feel unprepared or require additional time to gather necessary documentation.

Postponing an IRS audit deadline is possible, but urgent and valid reasons for an extension must be valid. In this article, we review some reasons for requesting a postponement, provide steps on how to appeal the IRS’s decision, and highlight how to request an extension due to unpreparedness to face an audit.

Recommendation for Appealing an Audit

In some cases, taxpayers may disagree with the IRS’s decision to audit their taxes. However, disagreeing with an audit is not a legitimate reason for postponing it.

Instead, taxpayers who disagree with the audit must file an appeal form with the IRS within 30 days of receiving the audit notification. The appeal should outline the reason(s) the taxpayer disagrees with the IRS decision.

If the appeals office disagrees with the taxpayer’s appeal, they may seek additional review from the US Tax Court and appeal the court decision. Taxpayers may also choose to engage the services of a tax attorney to guide them through the appeals process.

Unpreparedness for a Tax Audit

Sometimes, unforeseen circumstances such as a family emergency, illness or a sudden change in circumstance may prevent taxpayers from preparing adequately for an IRS audit. Such unforeseen circumstances may cause significant setbacks and make it impossible for the taxpayer to meet the IRS’s deadlines for documentation.

In such cases, postponing the audit is necessary.

The postponement request, in this case, should be in writing and should detail the reasons for the delay.

The letter should include supporting documentation, and the reasons for postponing the audit must be valid and compelling. It’s essential to remember that postponing an audit comes with responsibilities.

Taxpayers must ensure they comply with the new deadline provided by the IRS.

Steps for Requesting a Postponement

Reviewing the IRS Audit Letter

The first step for requesting a postponement for an IRS audit is to review the audit letter sent by the IRS. The letter should contain relevant information regarding the audit and the deadline for submitting the necessary documentation.

Check the audit letter to determine whether an extension is possible and the duration of the extension.

Contacting the IRS

After reviewing the audit letter, and determining an extension is necessary, contact the IRS on the telephone number provided in the letter or by writing a request letter. The call or letter should contain a clear explanation of the reason for needing an extension.

If the request is in writing, make sure to provide supporting documentation or records verifying the reason for the delay.

Legitimacy of the Request

The reason for requesting an extension must be legitimate and compelling. Common legitimate reasons include a family emergency, an unanticipated event, a natural disaster, or unexpected illness.

Reasons such as a lack of preparation or disagreement with the outcome of the audit are not legitimate reasons for extension.

Paying Tax Owed

It’s crucial to remember that postponing an audit does not prevent taxpayers from paying the tax owed. Taxpayers with outstanding tax due must ensure they pay the tax owed by the original deadline provided in the audit letter.

If there is a disagreement about the amount owed, a taxpayer may pay the estimated amount and later seek to get a refund if the IRS audit finds that the amount paid was excessive. However, it is important to consult with a tax attorney or accountant’s guidance in such cases.


Requesting a postponement for an IRS audit is common. However, taxpayers must only do so for legitimate and compelling reasons.

Proper documentation or records should be provided, and taxpayers must adhere to the extended deadline given by the IRS. Disagreeing with an IRS audit outcome is not a legitimate reason to postpone the audit.

Taxpayers who disagree with an assessment from the IRS must follow the appeal process. Seeking the advice of a tax attorney before and after an audit is also necessary to avoid any penalties or interests.

Providing Additional Information

When requesting a postponement for an IRS audit, providing additional information is crucial. This information includes gathering and organizing all necessary documentation such as tax returns, financial statements, receipts, and invoices.

Organizing proper documentation provides an accurate representation of the financial transactions and helps prevent red flags and inaccuracies during the audit. In this article, we discuss how to gather supporting documentation and organize it in logical order, and the importance of confirming the receipt of documents after submission.

Gathering Supporting Documentation

Depending on the type of audit, taxpayers could be required to gather a variety of supporting documents. Taxpayers undergoing a business audit, for example, might have to keep track of payroll and human resources information, expenses, and invoices.

Individuals facing an audit may be required to provide personal financial records, including bank statements, paycheck stubs, and receipts for deductions. To gather all necessary documentation, taxpayers should firstly review the audit letter to determine which documents are required.

Once identified, organize the documents in a logical order to make the review easier for the auditor. Its important to provide sufficient documentation to back up any figures reported on tax returns and financial statements to avoid red flags or inaccuracies.

Organizing Documentation

Once the required documents have been identified and gathered, its crucial to organize them in logical order with explanations to provide context to the auditor. Providing explanations for the documents’ context saves the auditor time and makes the review process quicker and easier.

Organizing documents in logical order, such as date or type, can also be useful. This order can be particularly helpful for employee payroll information, where dates are essential and necessary to outline taxes paid during specific periods.

Taxpayers must keep a copy of all the documents provided to the IRS for their records. If any confusion arises during the audit process, taxpayers can refer to their copies of the document.

Keeping the documents organized also facilitates the review process, saving time and money spent on legal help.

Confirming Receipt of Documents

Its important to follow up after submitting all necessary documentation to confirm that the IRS has received it. Taxpayers may follow up by calling the IRS or sending an email requesting confirmation of receipt.

The audit letter sent by the IRS will typically include a case number for tax authorities handling the audit. Use this case number when following up on submitted documents.

Once confirmed, taxpayers should keep a record of this confirmation.

Follow-up and Next Steps

Confirming IRS Receipt of Request

After submitting an extension request for an IRS audit, its essential to follow up with the IRS to confirm its receipt. Taxpayers can follow up via telephone or email, as earlier stated.

Once the IRS receives the request for an extension, they will review the information provided and grant taxpayers an extended deadline. If it takes too long to get confirmation, taxpayers can call the IRS customer service to request an update on the status of their request.

Responding to a New Deadline

After receiving an extended deadline, its crucial to use the extra time wisely to prepare adequately for the audit. Taxpayers should review the supporting documentation to ensure the information provided is relevant to the audit and make any necessary adjustments.

If the documents were incomplete or inaccurate, taxpayers should use this opportunity to improve their record-keeping systems. Taxpayers who feel overwhelmed or unprepared for the audit may benefit from the expertise of a tax attorney.

Tax attorneys have the skills and experience to guide taxpayers through the audit process and help them make the appropriate adjustments and corrections.

Addressing Issues with Tax Return

If the audit reveals issues with the taxpayers tax returns, taxpayers should use this opportunity to make necessary adjustments and improve the tax returns. The IRS will provide any adjustments to the taxpayer, and taxpayers should address these issues promptly to avoid any penalties.

Taxpayers may also consult with a tax attorney to guide them through this process and help them negotiate any payments or penalties that may arise.


Providing additional documentation and information is crucial to postpone an IRS audit and go through the audit process smoothly. Gathering and organizing documents before filing an extension request saves time for the IRS and facilitates a quicker review process.

Confirming the receipt of documents provides taxpayers with peace of mind, ensuring that IRS authorities received the required documents. Using tax attorney services will save taxpayers from any penalties or payments that may arise during the audit process.

In conclusion, requesting a postponement for an IRS audit is a necessary process that requires adequate preparation, organization of necessary documents and follow up. Taxpayers seeking an extension must have legitimate reasons, provide additional documentation, and organize them logically for the IRS review.

Confirming receipt of documents after submission is crucial, and using tax attorney services will ensure taxpayers protect themselves from any negative consequences from the IRS including penalties. Overall, taxpayers should prioritize accuracy and honesty in their tax returns to avoid any IRS audits, but if they occur, following these steps will ensure a smoother process and reduce any penalties or fees.

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