What Happens if You Don’t Respond to a Tax Audit?

Ignoring a tax audit is a surefire way to invite trouble from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS takes audits very seriously, and taxpayers who fail to respond can face severe consequences.

Consequences of Ignoring a Tax Audit

  • Automatic Changes to Your Tax Return: The IRS will make changes to your tax return based on the information they have available. These changes may result in additional taxes, penalties, and interest.
  • 90-Day Letter: The IRS will send you a 90-day letter notifying you of the proposed changes to your tax return. You have 90 days to respond to the letter and provide documentation to support your position.
  • Collection Action: If you fail to respond to the 90-day letter, the IRS may begin collection action. This could include seizing your assets, garnishing your wages, or placing a lien on your property.
  • Waiver of Appeal Rights: By ignoring the audit, you waive your right to appeal the IRS’s decision. This means that you will not be able to challenge the changes made to your tax return in court.

How to Respond to a Tax Audit

If you receive a tax audit notice, it is important to respond promptly. The following steps will help you prepare for and respond to an audit:

  1. Gather Your Records: Collect all of the documentation that supports your tax return, such as receipts, bank statements, and investment records.
  2. Review the Audit Notice: Carefully read the audit notice to understand the specific issues that the IRS is questioning.
  3. Contact a Tax Professional: If you are not comfortable responding to the audit on your own, consider hiring a tax professional to represent you.
  4. Respond to the IRS: Respond to the IRS within the specified timeframe. Your response should include a written explanation of your position and any supporting documentation.
  5. Attend the Audit: If the IRS requests an in-person audit, be prepared to present your case and answer questions.

Tips for Responding to a Tax Audit

  • Be honest and accurate in your response.
  • Provide clear and concise explanations.
  • Support your claims with documentation.
  • Be respectful and cooperative with the IRS auditor.
  • If you disagree with the IRS’s findings, be prepared to provide evidence to support your position.

Ignoring a tax audit is a risky proposition. The IRS has a wide range of tools at its disposal to collect unpaid taxes, and taxpayers who fail to respond to an audit can face serious consequences. By responding promptly and providing the IRS with the necessary information, you can minimize the risk of additional taxes, penalties, and interest.

What if I ignore the IRS audit notice


What happens if I don’t respond to a tax audit?

A failure to respond can even lead to criminal charges. If IRS suspects that you have intentionally failed to report income or claimed fraudulent deductions, they may refer your case to the Criminal Investigation Division. If convicted of tax evasion or other tax crimes, you could face significant fines and jail time.

What happens if you ignore a mail audit?

If you ignore the audit notice, the IRS will overestimate the amount you owe, send the Notice of Deficiency to the last address they have on file for you, and assess the tax, penalties and interest without you even knowing it. Then they can collect your assets without your approval.

What happens when you don’t respond to the IRS?

Taxpayers who don’t respond to the non-filer letter will receive additional notices and other actions. Ultimately, this can lead to a variety of IRS compliance activity, including collection and audit action as well as potential criminal prosecution.

How serious is a tax audit?

On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the worst), being audited by the IRS could be a 10. Audits can be bad and can result in a significant tax bill. But remember – you shouldn’t panic. There are different kinds of audits, some minor and some extensive, and they all follow a set of defined rules.

What happens if I don’t respond to a mail audit?

The IRS doesn’t assign your mail audit to one person. So, one IRS employee won’t be contacting you to handle the case and follow up. In fact, if you don’t respond, respond late, or respond incompletely, the IRS will likely just disallow the items it’s questioning on your return and send you a tax bill – plus penalties and interest.

What happens if I don’t respond to an audit notice?

That won’t happen right away. If you don’t respond to an audit notice, the IRS will implement the changes it wants to make to your tax return and serve you with a 90-day notice to dispute those changes. Do nothing, and your tax debt becomes automatic.

What happens if you fail an IRS audit?

Sure, it’s rough to fail an IRS audit. And paying the bill they’ll probably stick you with is going to hurt. But unless you’re refusing to pay taxes or purposefully trying to defraud the government, you won’t be facing jail time. Let’s take a look at what happens for the typical taxpayer who ends up on the wrong side of the IRS.

Are IRS audits bad?

Most people think IRS audits are probably very bad. Maybe you’ll have to sit in a cold, dark room with a suited and well-starched IRS agent who asks cutting — and maybe confusing — questions about your tax return and your income. All to prove you are a tax cheat. Good news. For most people, this is far from reality.

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