Do CPAs offer audit protection?

August 22, 2011

From:  Jonas
Date:  Thu, 1 Feb 2007

Thanks for your newsletter - keeps me informed, and is enjoyable to read. Here's a question that came up recently with a client of mine I wonder if you might consider addressing in a future newsletter issue:

A client, who is not a CPA, is savvy with accounting, taxes and finance. He believes he is able to prepare his own return, and that the return would likely be prepared identically or similarly if prepared by a CPA. He has business deductions claimed on a Schedule C that would likely attract attention for an IRS audit. Are tax returns prepared by CPAs less likely to be audited than those prepared by the taxpayer? I haven't found any research on this issue.

Best regards,
Jonas

Answer

Date:  28 Feb 2007

Hello Jonas,

Some people believe the IRS gives more credibility to professionally-prepared income tax returns because a second set of eyes has reviewed the information. My clients have told me they believe they are getting some audit insurance by having me prepare their returns. I don't have any statistics one way or the other. We have had very few tax audits of our clients over the years. (Knock on wood!)

Occasionally, a tax return preparer who isn't being conscientious gets busted by the IRS. Then the IRS subpoenas the client list and all of the clients get audited. These individuals didn't get the protection they expected.

Also remember the Consumer Reports articles about the wide variation of results for income tax returns prepared by different tax return preparation companies.

So, I don't have a solid answer or even reassurance for those who use a professional tax return preparer.

I still believe that we tax advisors contribute something with our experience and education about the tax laws, at least for a sanity check for our clients.

Good luck!


Mike Gray

For answers to new questions, subscribe to our newsletter, Michael Gray, CPA's Tax & Business Insight by filling out the form below.


Home    Newsletter Archive    Introducing Michael Gray, CPA    Articles    Tax FAQ   Need Help?    Other Links


Michael Gray, CPA
2190 Stokes St. Ste. 102
San Jose, CA 95128
(408) 918-3162
FAX: (408) 998-2766
Hours: 8am - 5pm PDT Monday - Friday

Find us on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter
Connect on LinkedIn
Connect on Google+
Our Blog

Sign up for our free monthly newsletter,
Tax & Business Insight,
for the latest tax news!

subscribe html
unsubscribe text only

We respect your email privacy!