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Audit Angst?

New tax rules can help ease your fears and keep IRS visits short and succinct.

This story appears in the May 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

It's no exaggeration to say that most entrepreneurs would prefer a root canal to an audit. The thought of IRS scrutiny terrifies even the bravest of souls. But if your return is selected as part of this year's audit process, don't despair.

For one thing, taxpayers now have more rights than ever when it comes to dealing with the IRS. Under the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, the tax agency has been encouraged to speed up the audit process. If it doesn't provide notice of an audit to the taxpayer within 18 months after a return is filed, interest and certain penalties will be suspended. Beginning in tax year 2004, the IRS will have to provide that notice within 12 months.

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