The National Association of Tax Professionals has released Audit Proof the Tax Office, aimed at helping practitioners change some office procedures in response to new needs, and new threats, in the industry.

Gathering data from the client now requires documentation with regard to how it was gathered, who provided the information, proof of the accuracy of the information, and the hard copy retention of the entire substantiation, according to Audit Proof author Melinda Garvin, EA, RTRP.

“I’m continually surprised that my peers really believe they can continue doing business as they have for the past many years,” she added. “As an instructor in the accounting/tax profession, I’ve come across too many professionals unaware of the probable outcome from a visit from the IRS. They mistakenly believe their office is safe from violations of Circular 230. First, the biggest area of compliance audits for tax professionals was EITC. Then (2011) Schedules A, C and E and now Schedule C with the specific area of travel expenses.”

Preparers’ tried-and-true engagement letters and organizers fail to meet today’s due-diligence obligation, Garvin maintains.

The book addresses communications with employees and tax clients, office procedures and policies and the outline and tools to customize a practice’s manual and operating procedures “that will help you survive a ‘visit’ from the IRS.”

The book also includes a flash drive with more than 35 forms, many in PDF format and including clients’ questionnaires, tax client checklists, engagement and collection letters, templates of employee handbooks, and primers on office management and security, among others.

Audit Proof is $75 for NATP members, and $89 for non-members. 

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