Tax Audit in Gulf Shores, Alabama
A "tax audit" in Alabama is the process by which the relevant 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, usually 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 Gulf Shores, Alabama is usually 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 actually legitimate, there are a few things you can do to prepare. Initially, you should assemble all of the relevant 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 series of questions, which you should answer honestly and to the best of your knowledge.
Reasons For a Tax Audit in Gulf Shores, Alabama
Tax Audits in Alabama can happen for a wide variety of various reasons.
As considered earlier, an audit might happen due to a taxpayer being randomly selected. If this happens to you, and you have been honest on your tax returns, it's unlikely that you'll have much to worry about.
But, some Gulf Shores, Alabama tax audits happen for a specific reason. This is usually 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 very 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.
If you claim such a large number of deductions that your tax liability is unusually low, you may well be subject to an audit in Gulf Shores, Alabama. A deduction is an allowable reduction in your taxable income, requiring you to pay taxes on a smaller portion of your income. Certain business expenses and charitable donations are common sources of tax deductions. However, some people add invalid deductions to their tax returns to reduce their tax burden. If the IRS is suspicious about your deductions, you should make sure you have proper documentation to back them up.
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How Can A Gulf Shores, Alabama Tax Lawyer Help?
If you are audited in Gulf Shores, Alabama, and believe that you have done everything right in preparing and filing your tax return, you likely don't have much to worry about. If there is anything wrong with your tax return, it was likely the result of an honest mistake, which will result in light penalties - usuallyy just an order to pay any back taxes you owe, plus 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 seek the advice of a Gulf Shores, Alabama tax attorney immediately.