Auditing Frequently Asked Questions

I have been selected for audit: Now what?

We understand that receiving an audit selection letter can be nerve wracking, but undergoing an audit doesn’t have to be a terrifying process.

Knowledge can be power, so we have listed some of the most frequently asked questions pertaining to an audit and the audit process below. If you cannot find the answer to your question here, please reach out to Auditing using any of the contact methods listed in the Contact Us section.

Why was I selected for audit?

The West Virginia Tax Division routinely conducts audits of businesses in operation to determine if taxes are reported and paid correctly.

I have received my Audit Selection letter: Now what do I need to do?

Utilizing the instructions, complete and return the Pre-Audit Questionnaire that you received with your Audit Selection letter.

If you are authorizing an external agent—such as a CPA, lawyer, or bookkeeper— to represent you during the audit, you must also use the instructions to complete the Form WV-2848 Authorization of Power of Attorney.

Please note: If returning a completed WV-2848 Authorization of Power of Attorney, this form cannot be faxed or emailed. The original form must be mailed.

Why are emailed, faxed, and photocopied Power of Attorney Form WV-2848 rejected?

The West Virginia Tax Division takes your privacy very seriously. Due to the sensitive nature of the information contained and discussed during audits, a legally binding document from you authorizing your designee to discuss and obtain information on your behalf is required. The original form must be mailed, received, and approved before the auditor is authorized to discuss your business or any portion of the audit with your designee.

What happens after I complete the Pre-Audit Questionnaire?

Once the Pre-Audit Questionnaire has been received, your audit will be assigned to an auditor. Each auditor has an inventory of audits and will contact you prior to scheduling the audit to discuss when to schedule the audit and what records they will need to review.

What records will the auditor need?

The Audit Selection letter you received includes the commonly reviewed accounts and records. The auditor will advise you of the specific audit periods, taxes, and records needed to conduct your audit. You will be allowed sufficient time to gather the necessary information.

As the audit progresses, additional records may be needed. In this instance, the auditor will tell you exactly what is needed.

  • Commonly Reviewed Records include:
  • Applicable federal and state returns with supporting schedules and documentation.
  • Financial statements, sales and purchase invoices, journals and ledgers, production and inventory records, and payroll records.
  • Bank statements with check images, check registers, and cash register tapes.
  • Customer and vendor listings, contracts, agreements, and leases.
  • Exemption certificates and direct pay permits.

How and in what formats can the records be submitted?

Records can be submitted electronically or as hard copy records.

Electronic records are the preferred format. Electronic records reduce the length of time needed to complete the audit. You can provide records via your MyTaxes account, CD, e-mail, or USB (thumb or stick) drive. Auditors can access various accounting software. Please indicate on the Pre-Audit Questionnaire if you plan on providing electronic records as well as the format.

Hard copy records are also acceptable if you do not have the ability to convert records into an electronic format. You and your auditor will discuss the best way for your records to be provided.

What if I do not have the requested records?

Pursuant to W. Va. Code §11-13V-15, taxpayers are required to keep records, receipts, invoices and other pertinent papers in the form required by the Tax Commissioner for a period of not less than three years after the annual return is filed.

In some cases, there are additional types of records that the auditor can use in lieu of the requested records. These determinations are made on a case-by-case basis working with the auditor and the auditor’s supervisor that is assigned to your audit. Diligently gather the records that you can produce and discuss with your auditor any records that you do not have.

What law permits auditors to review the records of businesses and individual taxpayers?

Pursuant to W. Va. Code §11-10-5a, any agent or representative designated by the tax commissioner may examine any books, papers, records, memoranda, inventory, or equipment for the purpose of verifying the correctness of any tax return or assessment for the purpose of making an estimate of any taxpayer’s liability.

Is my information confidential?

Pursuant to W. Va. Code §11-10-5d, unless you have filed a Power of Attorney form with the Tax Division, information regarding your audit will only be provided directly to you. We will hold your information in confidence and not make it available to the public.

West Virginia does have information sharing agreements with the Internal Revenue Service and other agencies. If appropriate, information can be sent to these agencies without additional permission from you.

When and where will the audit take place?

The auditor will contact you to schedule an appointment to conduct the audit. This may be a month or longer following the return of the Pre-Audit Questionnaire.

  • The audit will generally take place at one of the following:
  • A West Virginia Tax Division office.
  • Your business (excluding most home offices).
  • Your designee’s office (CPA, lawyer, or bookkeeper).

What else can I expect during the audit?

The auditor may call you or your designee listed on the Power of Attorney form with questions concerning the audit.

The auditor may also tour your business to get a better understanding of your business operations and practices. A supervisor may accompany the auditor during the tour. Should the audit be conducted at your business, a supervisor may visit the auditor during the audit.

What is a SEATA Questionnaire? Do I have to complete it?

The Southeastern Association of Tax Administrators (SEATA) is an organization that consists of twelve member states (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia) whose purpose is to promote cooperation among the Southeastern states in taxation and tax related matters. This questionnaire provides information regarding the status of your business in these member states. While completion of this form is not mandatory, it facilitates the process of determining your business activities in other member states. Should you choose not to complete the form, the auditor will complete the form using the information they have available.

What is a Consent to Fax and Email form? Do I have to sign it?

The Consent to Fax and Email form gives the auditor permission to correspond with you and/or your designee listed on the Power of Attorney form via electronic mail (e-mail) and facsimile (fax). While you do not have to sign this form, consent to communicate in these manners provides the most efficient audit process. Should you choose not to sign the consent, please remember that the auditor will only be able to contact you by phone and postal mail which can potentially delay the progression of the audit.

How long will the audit take to complete?

The length of time it will take to complete the audit is dependent on various factors. The amount of time it takes to assemble the records, the condition and format that the records are in, the auditor’s schedule, holidays and/or other office closures can all impact how long it can take to complete the audit. The auditor assigned to your audit will work with you to complete the audit in the least amount of time possible.

What is a sample audit?

In many cases, we can conduct a sample audit which may shorten the time to complete the audit. A sample audit is a review of business operations for a specific time frame with the results projected across the entire audit period. We will conduct a sample audit when it is appropriate depending on the volume of records, time available, and the nature of the business.

The audit is over: Now what?

Exit Conference: The auditor will review the results with you at the conclusion of the examination. You will be asked to sign an exit conference acknowledging the results were explained. The exit conference does not imply or state you agree with the results. The exit conference may be mailed, faxed, or sent via e-mail to you. Be sure to ask your auditor to explain anything you do not fully understand during the exit conference.

Review: The audit undergoes an in-house review process to verify the mechanics of the audit are properly completed.

Issue: The audit is then issued. You will receive the results electronically through your MyTaxes account. If you do not have a MyTaxes account, you can work with your auditor and Taxpayer Services to get one established. If you are not able to set up a MyTaxes account, discuss this with your auditor to explore other options to receive the audit results.

If the audit has no tax liability finding, you will receive a letter stating there was no additional tax due.

If the audit results in an assessment, you will receive the audit results with the Notice of Assessment with “what to do next” documents explaining your right to appeal and procedures for paying. Audit results are final if you fail to appeal within 60 days of receipt of the Notice of Assessment.

When will I receive my audit results?

Generally following the completion of the audit, you can expect to receive your audit results within 2-3 weeks. During this time your audit goes through several levels of review and approval. Following the approval process, the audit results are prepared and issued to your MyTaxes account or mailed.

I have my audit results: What do I do now?

Within 60 days of receipt of your audit results, you must do one of the following:

Pay The Assessment

Payment of the assessment can be made electronically or via paper voucher and check or money order.

Please note: If you are subject to mandatory e-pay, you must submit your payment electronically to avoid the 3% fee.

  • If you wish to pay the assessment via check or money order, detach the voucher from the Notice of Assessment and submit the voucher along with your payment in the enclosed envelope and mail to:
  • West Virginia Tax Division
  • Attention: Revenue
  • PO Box 2745
  • Charleston, WV 25330-2745

Electronic payment can be made via your MyTaxes account or by visiting the Payment Options page.

If you feel you cannot pay the assessment in full, contact the Compliance Department to see if you qualify for a payment plan.

  • Contact the Compliance Department by telephone at (304) 558-8753 or via mail at:
  • West Virginia Tax Division
  • Attention: Compliance
  • PO Box 229
  • Charleston, WV 25321-0229

Appeal the Assessment

If you disagree with the assessment, in whole or in part, you must complete the appropriate forms and submit them to the Office of Tax Appeals (OTA):

  1. Download and complete the Petition for Appeal.
  2. Mail completed paperwork within 60 days of receipt of the audit results and Notice of Assessment directly to Office of Tax Appeals (OTA).

Petition must be sent to the Office of Tax Appeals (OTA) to be valid.

If you have any questions regarding the appeal instructions, you may contact the Office of Tax Appeals (OTA) by telephone at (304) 558-1666.

  • Additional contact information for the Office of Tax Appeals (OTA) is:
  • West Virginia Office of Tax Appeals
  • PO Box 2751
  • Charleston, WV 25330-2751
  • Fax: (304) 558-1670

*If the petition is not received by the Office of Tax Appeals (OTA) on or within 60 days of receipt of the audit results and Notice of Assessment, the audit results will be final.

Where can I find information about the various taxes my business is responsible for paying?

Information about taxes and various other topics can be found on the Guidance and Publications page on the Tax Division website.

My question isn’t listed here: Who can I contact for more information?

You can contact Auditing at the West Virginia Tax Division using any of the methods listed below.

    • Telephone:
    • 304-558-8532
    • Fax:
    • 304-558-8526
  • Mailing Address
  • West Virginia Tax Division
  • Attention: Auditing
  • PO Box 902
  • Charleston, WV 25323-0902
  • Physical Address*
  • West Virginia Tax Division
  • Revenue Center
  • 1001 Lee Street, East
  • Charleston, WV 25301
  • *For Fed Ex and UPS deliveries