“There is an appointed time for everything. A time to be silent and a time to speak”- King Solomon
People under stress often talk way too much. It’s a nervous impulse. The IRS and State auditors are well aware of this facet of human behavior, so auditors are trained to listen and create silence. They examine records without speaking, hoping that you will just volunteer information. Keep your mouth shut. Seriously, control the urge to speak. Auditors get more damaging information from people who discuss answers to questions that were not even asked. Once they get information, they will use it against you by opening up prior year returns within the statute of limitations.
The five best answers to any question posed by an auditor:
- I don’t recall
- I will have to check on that to confirm
- What specific items do you want to see?
Remember – in any audit it is not just the return that is being examined, but you, as the taxpayer, are under examination. Your actions and behavior are being observed and noted. Do not come across as being evasive or nervous, otherwise, it may appear that you are trying to hide something. However, you have rights and one of those rights is to only divulge information that is being requested of you. The less you talk, the less chances you have to hurt yourself.