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Tax audit representation, also called audit defense, is a service in which a tax or legal professional stands in on behalf of a taxpayer (an individual or legal entity) during an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or state income tax audit. In the United States, during an income tax audit or examination, the IRS and all states allow a taxpayer to have an authorized representative. The representative must be authorized to practice before the IRS or state, and specific credentials are required. The types of representatives who are allowed to represent taxpayers before the IRS in income tax audits include attorneys, certified public accountants, and enrolled agents.
An audit representative develops the strategy used to defend the taxpayer’s position. He or she assists the taxpayer in preparing all documents requested by the taxing authority and typically attends all meetings and handles correspondence on behalf of the taxpayer.