Audited at 18: How I Handle It

When I filed my taxes at the age of 18, I did not even think about the chance of an audit. I was 18 and broke, what did they have to audit? I was a single mother that made minimum wage and lived in my parent’s two bedroom basement apartment rent free. I did not think I was at risk for being audited, so when H&R Block did my taxes, I did not opt in for the audit protection.

When I got the letter stating that I was being audited, I thought it was a joke at first. After all, only rich people get audited, right? Not the case at all. The tax representative that did my taxes did not have the decency to explain to me that most of the IRS tax audits are completely random and computer generated.

After I calmed down, talked to my parents, and then freaked out a second time, I called the IRS to get more information. They told me what documents to bring in and referred me to my local IRS agent.

I took all of the paperwork requested into the office. This included all receipts that I had, my W-2’s, child support documentation, and a copy of my taxes. When I showed up with all of this paperwork, they looked it over and handed me a stack of paperwork that I had to fill out. After reading over a mountain of paperwork that, to me, seemed like it was written in Greek. I decided to pay someone to handle this for me. I went back to H&R Block.

Of course you know when you go back into a business like this, you get the same person you did before that told you to purchase the warranty or the added protection. He saw my shoe box full of paperwork and instantly knew why I was there.

It cost more for him to pick back through the paperwork and fill out the forms than it would have if I had originally purchased the audit protection. It is nice to have someone to represent you in a situation like that.

I learned a very important lesson that year, anyone and I mean anyone can be audited at any time. It is well worth it to purchase the audit protection when filing your taxes.

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