This afternoon I had to go to our local IRS office for an audit. We received notification back in May or June that we had been "selected" for an "evaluation." Doesn't that make a person feel special? What was especially interesting was all the paperwork they wanted us to bring. Did they want to see pay check stubs, bank records, etc.? No.
The wanted to see our kids' birth certificates. They wanted to see medical or school or other records that had our kids' names and our address on them as documentation that they lived with us. They wanted to see records of other income we had to support these kids, like alimony, child support, welfare, VA benefits, or anything else. They wanted to know how we spent this money. They wanted to know how much these dependents made and how much they contributed to the household budget. (I got a gooood laugh out of that one). Oh, and of course, our returns for the audit year (2008) as well as the year before and the year after.
So they only things we could gather of all that were the birth certificates, some insurance records that showed our kids received mail at our address, and the returns. Unfortunately, Kelly was unable to get out of the class he's in for work so I had to go BY MYSELF.
Fortunately it wasn't as bad as I thought. I was thrown for a loop though when he told me that he had already pulled a lot of financial background on us. He was telling this to me reassuringly, because everything looked fine - in other words, we don't spend more than we make or live above our means. (Duh!) But I had, naively, not expected that. I wanted to start calling the guy "Big Brother" though I doubt he would have appreciated it. This bothered me more than anything else, though it shouldn't have surprised me.
The whole meeting took 30 minutes. He made copies of the documents he needed to, and didn't even look at the other 2 returns. They only discrepancy we had was our bank sent us a document reporting one amount of earned interest for the year but reported a different amount to the IRS. Lovely. I showed him the documentation they sent us, and he was a little perplexed as well. However, the difference was a small amount and would have made no impact on the amount of tax owed or return received so he said it would be pointless to pursue it at this point. As relatively painless as it was, I hope not to have to do that again.