So, you received that dreaded notice from the IRS that they want to audit your tax returns and set up a face-to-face meeting with you.

The most common mistake that people make is providing copies of your OTHER years’ tax returns.  This can expand your risk of needing to provide MORE information because it gives an auditor many more things to analyze, like patterns of income and deduction amounts over multiple years. 

So, why do people bring their previous tax returns with them?  Because the IRS auditors ask them to!

But, according to the IRS rules, you are only required to bring the information relating to the specific tax year that is listed in the audit notice.  You are NOT required to provide information from any other year (except maybe carryover items) even if the auditor verbally asks you to do so. 

If the auditor asks for a previous return, simply say, “I don’t believe that this relates to the audit notice and the tax year mentioned.” 

Almost always, that will end the matter.