In Georgia, the Department of Revenue oversees collecting and enforcing many of the State’s taxes, including income tax. This includes conducting audits in personal and business returns. If the Georgia Department of Revenue is auditing your return, here are three things you should do.
Get your documentation ready
Much like a federal audit, a state audit will be focused on determining if the information on your return is correct. How is this done? Through documentation. Income will be documented through W-2s, sales receipts, or the like. Deductions will need to be similarly established. Your ability to demonstrate and prove the return information will be the single most significant factor in how successful your audit is.
The second most important thing after collecting the right documentation is to organize it properly. The step serves two purposes. First, it acts as a double-check for you. If you can present your documentation in a manner that supports and ties-out to what is on the return, you can be more confident that you have a complete picture.
Second, it helps lead the auditor down the path you want them to go down, namely agreeing with your return. If the documentation is ordered in such a way to prove what you are saying, the auditor will have less work to do to get to the result. If instead, you bring an unorganized box of papers into the auditor’s office, this will create more work for the auditor and annoy them. An annoyed auditor will look for excuses to disagree with you and what you put on the return.
Don’t go alone
Finally, it is your right to have representation. If you receive notice that Georgia is going to audit you, or you are in the middle of a Georgia audit, then having the right professional help can make all the difference. The right professional will help you protect your rights, present your information in the best possible light, and help you understand what is happening at each step of the process. Your representative can also handle all the communication with the State taking that burden off you.
If you have received a letter from Georgia, contact us today to discuss your options and next steps.