Tax Audit in Jefferson County, Alabama
A "tax audit" in Alabama is the process by which the appropriate 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, normally 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 Jefferson County, Alabama is normally 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 really legitimate, there are a few things you can do to prepare. Initially, you should assemble all of the appropriate 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 number of questions, which you should answer honestly and to the best of your knowledge.
Reasons For a Tax Audit in Jefferson County, Alabama
Tax Audits in Alabama can happen for a wide variety of various reasons.
As considered earlier, tax audits can be conducted at random. Evidently, the government doesn't have the resources to audit every taxpayer under their jurisdiction. But, by conducting a considerable number of random audits each year, taxpayers are, in theory, discouraged from cheating on their taxes, because they know that they might be audited randomly. If you are chosen for a random audit, and have done everything right, you almost definately have nothing to worry about.
Nonetheless, some people in Jefferson County, Alabama are audited because the government suspects that they are underreporting their income. For instance, if you report that you only make $20,000 per year, and then go out and buy an expensive sports car, the IRS and state tax authorities are going to want to discover where the money to buy that car came from.
Claiming an unusually-high number of deductions is another frequent reason for tax audits in Jefferson County, Alabama. A tax deduction is some expenditure that you can subtract from your taxable income, thereby reducing your tax liability. If you claim such a wide number of deductions that your tax liability has been reduced to almost nothing, the IRS will probably want to make sure that all of these deductions are legitimate.
Find a Jefferson County Lawyer that Specializes in Your Area of Need:
How Can A Jefferson County, Alabama Tax Lawyer Help?
If you experience an audit in Jefferson County, Alabama, and believe that you have properly reported all of your income on your tax filings, it will probably go fine. And if there is anything wrong with your filings, it was likely the result of an honest mistake, and auditors are generally sensitive to this fact. In such cases, the penalty is normally light. It will probably be little more than a requirement that you pay back taxes and interest.
However, there are times when an audit is conducted to investigate far more significant issues. If you find yourself facing allegations from the IRS of serious wrongdoing, and believe yourself to be innocent, you should obtain the advice of a Jefferson County, Alabama tax attorney immediately.