How to survive an audit


I’m no expert, and I’m pretty conservative when it comes to doing my taxes. But with all these rumors about 16,000 potential new IRS employees, I figure it’s time to do a little preparation for the day I get the knock on the door.

Before I get started, I think I should say that ALL IRS people, including the ones who decide who actually gets audited, are true professionals, dedicated, and a tribute to government employees everywhere. They are smart, polite, and are performing a service to the country by ensuring we all do our part.

And they’re handsome. For the record. In case any of them are reading this.

If the taxman cometh, I have a plan that will ensure everything goes smoothly. I’ll treat him like a military inspection team.


I’ll meet him at the door with an ear-to-ear smile and a hearty handshake, to give him the unmistakable impression that (a) I’m GLAD he is here, (b) I have nothing to hide, and (c) just can’t WAIT to get started.

Then I’ll walk him through the house, giving him a full (and I mean FULL) tour. “Here is the bathroom. Here is the toilet roll dispenser. Here is a towel. Here is another towel. And if you look in this drawer, you’ll see more towels. Let me show you how the faucet works.”

Then I’ll take him to the dining room for a hot cup of coffee and a turkey platter full of doughnuts and sweet rolls. We’ll talk about the rigors of being an auditor, and I’ll nod sympathetically. We’ll talk about the weather. About fish. About anything.

Afterwards, I’ll sit him down at my computer for a PowerPoint slide show, using pie charts to describe how we spend our money, and how, if you really look at it, we netted less than zero in income last year. When he starts to get itchy to get going on the real audit, I’ll pull out the hidden slides showing our vacation to Yellowstone.

Meanwhile, my wife will be in the other room getting the paperwork together.

If we’re lucky, we will have delayed him long enough that he has to leave for lunch.

When he returns, I’ll try to use small talk to allow all the carbs to take effect. The sleepier he is in the afternoon, the better.

As he digs in to the actual paperwork, the plan is to be … deliberate. “Hmmm. I know that receipt is in here somewhere. Give me a second to check some boxes in the garage. Here, have a cup of decaf while I’m gone.”

When he asks a question, I will only answer yes or no. No elaboration.

At about 3pm we will hold a family fire drill. “Sorry, but we do this every afternoon. We’ll just have to delay for a few minutes as we practice our escape routines.”

As the afternoon wears on, I’ll start mentioning how bad the rush hour traffic is, and how early it starts.

I’ll mention how tough it is in this economy.

When he wraps up. I’ll give him an ear-to-ear smile and a hearty handshake to give him the impression that we were GLAD he came to visit. We’ll wave at him as he backs out of the driveway. If all has gone according to plan, he won’t have gotten much farther than “name and address” before he had to leave.

That’s the strategy, but hopefully it will never come to that.

Because IRS agents are handsome. For the record. In case any of them are reading this.


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