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Know your legal rights on a repeat audit

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Q. I was audited for my 2003 return pertaining to self-employment tax. This was resolved in my favor. Now, the IRS is questioning the same aspect of my 2004 return. Don’t they have to drop this because of the prior result? E.L., via e-mail

A. The IRS won’t automatically dismiss this second audit. After all, the items will likely be different for different tax years. But it can’t hurt to ask. That assumes little or no change from the prior year and the audit is restricted to the same item. Generally, the IRS will go along with such a request if revisiting the issue would constitute an inefficient use of its resources. Tip: To find out what the IRS can and can’t do, read Pub. 1 (Your Rights as a Taxpayer) at

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