Tax Audit in Benton, Arkansas
A "tax audit" in Arkansas 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 Benton, Arkansas 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 Benton, 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 forthright on your tax returns, it's unlikely that you'll have much to worry about.
On the other hand, there are also particular reasons why the tax authorities in Benton, Arkansas might want to conduct a tax audit. The most prevalent 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 considerable number of expensive luxury items, but only claims a small amount of income on their tax return. Obviously, the tax man will be quite interested in learning where someone who is claiming a minimum-wage level income on their taxes got the money to buy a sports car.
Claiming an unusually-high number of deductions is another prevalent reason for tax audits in Benton, Arkansas. A tax deduction is some expenditure that you can subtract from your taxable income, thereby reducing your tax liability. If you claim such a wide 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 legitimate.
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How Can A Benton, Arkansas 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 Benton, Arkansas. 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, there are some tax audits that are far more convoluted 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 Benton, Arkansas tax attorney as soon as possible, to help make sure that your tax audit goes smoothly.