Tax Audit in Birmingham, Alabama
A "tax audit" in Alabama is the process by which the proper tax authorities (either the IRS, at the federal level, or its state equivalent) investigate a tax filing in more detail than they do for ordinary filings, typically because there appears to be a discrepancy, or some other suspicious item, in somebody's tax returns. However, the IRS (and state tax authorities) sometimes do rounds of unexpected audits, where they audit taxpayers at random, without necessarily suspecting them of any wrongdoing.
The procedure of being audited in Birmingham, Alabama is typically pretty simple. If and when the tax authorities decide to audit you, they'll send you a letter in the mail detailing what's about to happen. If you receive such a letter, it's extremely important that you make sure it's authentic. Sometimes, scam artists will send fake audit notices to people, claiming that they owe the government money. They will then collect their "taxes" and disappear. You should do an internet search for the name of the tax authority that the letter claims to represent, and call them to verify that you are being audited.
After confirming that the audit you're facing is truly legitimate, there are a few things you can do to prepare. Initially, you should assemble all of the proper documents you have in your possession. This should include your tax return, W-2 forms, and records of any expenses that you claim as deductions. You should bring these documents, and any others that the auditor requests, to the meeting. At the meeting, the auditor will ask you a list of questions, which you should answer honestly and to the best of your knowledge.
Reasons For a Tax Audit in Birmingham, Alabama
A tax audit in Alabama can be performed for almost any reason at all
As considered earlier, an audit might happen due to a taxpayer being randomly selected. If this happens to you, and you have been forthright on your tax returns, it's unlikely that you'll have much to worry about.
But, some Birmingham, Alabama tax audits happen for a particular reason. This is typically because the IRS or your local tax authority suspects that you have not reported all of your income on your tax return. For instance, suppose that, last year, you bought an expensive new luxury car. But say you only claimed $25,000 in total income that year. As you might imagine, the IRS is going to be quite interested in finding out where the money for that car came from, and, if you have enough money to buy it, why you aren't paying taxes on that money.
Likewise, attempting to deduct a large percentage of your income is likely to raise suspicions. A tax deduction is a way to lower one's tax liability by making some of one's income non-taxable. Some customary sources of tax deductions in Birmingham, Alabama are business expenses and charitable donations. Some people, nonetheless, try to include incorrect deductions in their tax returns (attempting to deduct charitable donations they never truly gave, for example). A large number of deductions will be highly suspicious to the tax authorities, and they will want to see evidence to support every deduction you claim, if you're audited.
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How Can A Birmingham, Alabama Tax Lawyer Help?
If you find yourself on the business end of a tax audit in Birmingham, Alabama, and you are sure that you have reported all of your income, and not claimed any invalid deductions, chances are you were just chosen at random for an audit, and you likely don't have any cause for concern, other than the inconvenience that an audit represents. If you are deemed to owe any back taxes, and your failure to pay in the past was the result of an honest mistake, you'll likely be afforded a chance to pay any taxes you owe from past years, with the possible addition of interest.
However, there are some tax audits where the underlying facts are much more complicated than a simple misunderstanding. In these cases, a good tax attorney in Birmingham, Alabama may be necessary to ensure that the process is as painless as it can possibly be.
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Life in Birmingham
As Alabama's biggest city with over 225,000 people, Birmingham is also the county seat for Jefferson County. The greater metropolitan area of Birmingham is estimated to have a population exceeding 1.25 million.
Founded in 1871, Birmingham has a diversified economy, with an original base of manufacturing other businesses and industries such as banking, transportation, telecommunications, power transmission, education, medical care, and insurance have all risen in importance. Coal mining remains a large business and the trucking industry has grown with the advent of the interstate highway system.
Birmingham, AL is an excellent place for those in the legal profession, with prestigious law schools such as the Birmingham School of Law, Cumberland School of Law and the University of Alabama School of Law located there. The telephone directory lists over 3800 Birmingham lawyers.