Tax Audit in Madison, 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 random audits, where they audit taxpayers at random, without necessarily suspecting them of any wrongdoing.
The procedure of being audited in Madison, 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. First, 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 Madison, Alabama
Tax Audits in Alabama can occur for a wide variety of different reasons.
As discussed 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 certainly have nothing to worry about.
But, some Madison, Alabama tax audits occur for a certain reason. This is normally because the IRS or your local tax authority suspects that you have not reported all of your income on your tax return. For example, 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 extremely 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.
Another frequent reason for tax audits in Madison, Alabama is when a taxpayer claims a large number of deductions. A deduction is simply a legally-authorized subtraction from a person's taxable income. For instance, charitable donations can be deducted from one's income in the full amount of the donation. However, if a person claims a very large number of deductions, to the point that they claim little or no tax liability, the tax authorities are going to take a closer look.
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How Can A Madison, Alabama Tax Lawyer Help?
If you experience an audit in Madison, 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.
But, there are some tax audits that are far more confusing and serious than a tax return having a few more deductions than usual. If this is the situation you're in, you should contact a Madison, Alabama tax attorney as soon as possible, to help make sure that your tax audit goes smoothly.