Tax Audit in Sylacauga, 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 Sylacauga, 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.
Once you have made sure that your audit is indeed real, you can do a few things to get prepared for it. Most especially, you should collect all of the documents that the auditor has asked for, as well as any further documents and evidence that you think might help clear up any confusion about your tax return. You should bring these to the meeting with the auditor, and truthfully (to the best of your knowledge) answer all of the questions that the auditor asks.
Reasons For a Tax Audit in Sylacauga, Alabama
There are various reasons why the federal government, or the government of Alabama may want to audit a taxpayer.
A taxpayer can be chosen for an audit at random, even if the tax authorities don't suspect any wrongdoing. The idea behind these random audits is to keep taxpayers on their toes. So, if you are audited for this reason, and know that you've done everything thoroughly in filing your taxes, you will likely be fine.
But, some Sylacauga, 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.
If you claim such a considerable number of deductions that your tax liability is unusually low, you may well be subject to an audit in Sylacauga, Alabama. A deduction is an allowable reduction in your taxable income, requiring you to pay taxes on a smaller portion of your income. Specific business expenses and charitable donations are customary 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 appropriate documentation to back them up.
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How Can A Sylacauga, Alabama Tax Lawyer Help?
If you end up being tax audited, and you believe that you have not engaged in any wrongdoing, it's likely that you've been chosen randomly for an audit in Sylacauga, Alabama. If this is the case, you shouldn't be worried. If you are found to have made a mistake on a past tax return, and paid less than you owed, you'll likely just be made to pay the balance due, plus a slight bit of interest, without incurring any additional penalties.
But, in more difficult cases, chances are you would be well-served by a tax lawyer in Sylacauga, Alabama, to ensure that your tax audit goes smoothly.