Taxpayer raises unusual audit defense

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For many taxpayers, the thought of an audit by the Internal Revenue Service might be intimidating. For those that have survived the process, however, the more apt description might be tiresome.

Indeed, the scope of an IRS audit is broader than many might suspect. After the scare of the initial correspondence wears off, a taxpayer may have to respond to numerous requests for documents and records. IRS officials may also request an on-site inspection of any disputed real or personal property items, as well as in-person meetings.

Throughout the audit, an individual may be unsure of his or her rights. An individual may also have questions about the extent to which he or she must respond to inquiries from IRS personnel. For that reason, many taxpayers rely on the representation of a tax attorney. The attorney may become the chief point of contact with IRS officials during the audit. An attorney might be a buffer between a taxpayer and IRS officials in multiple ways, as today’s story suggests.

According to reports, a male taxpayer who was notified of an audit filed a lawsuit against his female IRS auditor, claiming she sent him flirtatious text messages and acted in a provocative manner. The taxpayer further alleged that the auditor threatened him with an unfavorable outcome unless he entered into romantic relations with her. Although the man resisted for some time, he eventually acquiesced.

Although the lawsuit attracted media attention, it probably won’t affect the outcome of the man’s disputed tax liability. The court, while acknowledging that intimate relations may have occurred, determined that such behavior happened on the IRS agent’s own time, outside the performance of her official duties.

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