- Personal Finance
The Benefits of a Tax Audit Lawyer
Every year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) processes and checks thousands of personal and business income tax returns. The main thing being looked over is the mathematical computations. As returns are processed by the IRS computers, they will reject any returns that show deductions that are not in line with the amount of reported income as well as math errors. Be sure that you have proof when making the decision to claim deductions. Legitimate deductions can be backed up with bank statements, receipts showing high sales tax such as those you would get when purchasing a new vehicle, and receipts for items such as work expenses, medical expenses, etc. Don't worry that your return will be selected for auditing if the system flags it for errors. Once an examiner has physically checked the return, they will decide if an audit is necessary.
Tax Audit Lawyer
In addition to returns with errors being audited, the IRS randomly selects several returns each year for an audit. The reason for doing so is to gain an insight to the characteristics of Unites States tax filers. The higher your income, the better chance you have of being audited. Remember to keep your tax returns for at least four years as the IRS can go back that far and request an audit.
If your return is one of the ones selected for an audit, do not panic. An audit does not mean that you have done something wrong, it simply means that there is some type of discrepancy and the IRS needs to meet with you to be clear it up, or the computer randomly selected your return. When you receive a notice for an audit it will come via US Postal Service and contain the date, time and location to which you need to report. If there are circumstances that do not allow for you to make the date and time in the letter be sure and contact the local office and reschedule. If you decide to just not show up, they can decide the outcome without you present or, in some cases, obtain a warrant forcing you to appear.
It would be in the best interest of everyone involved to contact a tax expert, accountant, or specially trained tax attorney to accompany you to the audit. Doing so is not necessary but often beneficial. If you cannot afford to do so, the IRS has some excellent reference materials on how to deal with an audit. If you attend the meeting and just feel overwhelmed, ask to reschedule the meeting for a different date and time and find someone who specializes in tax returns to go with you on the new date.
When attending an audit make sure to bring all of your financial records as well as proof to back up any specific items in question. Back up proof can include cash receipts, credit card documentation, and canceled bank checks. If you are using a tax specialist take the time to go over all of this information with that person prior to sitting down with the IRS representative, so that the expert is fully aware of your situation and knows how to clear up any questions.
While at the audit, focus only on the items that have been brought into question. Do not give them reason to look further into your return. In some situations further proof may be required and may be mailed to the IRS. Once these items have been received and reviewed, you will receive a written report of their findings. If you have questions concerning the outcome, contact your tax specialist at once and inquire about the quickest way to resolve the issue. If the outcome of the audit determines that you owe money to the IRS, you will be asked to sign a payment agreement. Be sure that the agreement is feasible and that you make all payment on time as scheduled. If the audit shows that the IRS actually owed you money, you will receive a check in the mail or deposit into your bank account.