Tax Audit in Lincoln, 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 random audits, where they audit taxpayers at random, without necessarily suspecting them of any wrongdoing.
The procedure of being audited in Lincoln, 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. First, 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 Lincoln, Alabama
Tax Audits in Alabama can occur for a wide variety of different reasons.
As discussed earlier, tax audits can be conducted at random. Apparently, the government doesn't have the resources to audit every taxpayer under their jurisdiction. But, by conducting a substantial 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 certainly have nothing to worry about.
On the other hand, some taxpayers in Lincoln, Alabama are audited for a particular reason, rather than being drawn at random. If the tax authorities believe that you have underreported your income, that is a very recognized reason for a tax audit. For instance, if you claim on your tax return that you make $30,000 per year, and, in the same year, purchase an expensive luxury item, the tax authorities will wonder where you got that extra money, and why you're not paying taxes on it.
Claiming an unusually-high number of deductions is another prevalent reason for tax audits in Lincoln, 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 massive 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 valid.
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How Can A Lincoln, Alabama Tax Lawyer Help?
If you find yourself on the business end of a tax audit in Lincoln, 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 probably don't have any cause for concern, other than the inconvenience that an audit represents. If you are found 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, if the situation is more convoluted, you may need to hire a Lincoln, Alabama tax attorney. A tax attorney can help you through your audit, and make sure it goes as smoothly as possible.