I survived an audit: What I've learned and what you need to know

Nearly 15 years ago, I walked into a room of well-dressed bankers and attorneys with an audit letter in my hand. I was probably the most nervous person in the room. I was interning at the IRS estates attorney division, and this visit marked the first time that I would take the lead on an audit. I remember sitting at the head of the table and carefully spelling out our findings. Then I braced myself. Counsel stared at me and said slowly, "Gentlemen, she's absolutely correct." And just like that, the audit was over. No drama. No surprises.

Fifteen years later, I found myself on the other side of the table when our law firm was audited by the IRS. This time, there were no well-dressed bankers and attorneys around. It was a much less formal atmosphere, which is, quite frankly, how most audits happen. But still, no drama, no surprises.

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