Tax Audit in Benton County, Arkansas
A "tax audit" in Arkansas 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 Benton County, Arkansas 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.
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 Benton County, Arkansas
There are various different reasons why the federal government, or the tax authorities of Arkansas might decide that a tax audit is warranted in your case.
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.
On the other hand, there are also specific reasons why the tax authorities in Benton County, Arkansas might want to conduct a tax audit. The most common reason for a tax audit is suspicion that a taxpayer has not reported all of the income they earned in a particular year. This suspicion often arises when a taxpayer buys a large number of expensive luxury items, but only claims a small amount of income on their tax return. Obviously, the tax man will be very interested in learning where someone who is claiming a minimum-wage level income on their taxes got the money to buy a sports car.
Likewise, attempting to deduct a large percentage of your income is likely to raise suspicions. A tax deduction is a way to lower one's tax liability by making some of one's income non-taxable. Some common sources of tax deductions in Benton County, Arkansas are business expenses and charitable donations. Some people, nonetheless, try to include incorrect deductions in their tax returns (attempting to deduct charitable donations they never actually gave, for example). A wide number of deductions will be highly suspicious to the tax authorities, and they will want to see evidence to support every deduction you claim, if you're audited.
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How Can A Benton County, Arkansas Tax Lawyer Help?
If you are audited in Benton County, Arkansas, 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.
But, in more convoluted cases, chances are you would be well-served by a tax lawyer in Benton County, Arkansas, to ensure that your tax audit goes smoothly.