Tax Audit in Bakersfield, California
A "tax audit" in California 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 random audits, where they audit taxpayers at random, without necessarily suspecting them of any wrongdoing.
The procedure of being audited in Bakersfield, California 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.
After confirming that the letter informing you of your audit is authentic, there are various things you can do to prepare for your meeting with the auditor. The first thing you need to do is call them and arrange to meet at a time that's mutually convenient. You should bring any documents and records that the auditor requests, as well as any evidence that you think might be helpful in answering the auditor's questions. The auditor will ask you any questions that he or she believes will clear up whatever concerns they have with your return. You should answer all of these questions truthfully, as it is illegal to lie to a tax auditor.
Reasons For a Tax Audit in Bakersfield, California
A tax audit in California can be performed for almost any reason at all
As mentioned above, an audit can happen simply because a person was chosen for an audit at random. If you are randomly chosen for a tax audit, and you have been forthright and diligent in collecting your tax documents, it will probably be a quick, painless process, and you likely don't have anything to worry about.
However if the IRS or other tax agency suspects actual wrongdoing by a Bakersfield, California taxpayer, that's a different matter. There are several different reasons why a government might decide to audit a taxpayer. The most typical one is suspicion that they have underreported their income. If a taxpayer buys a considerable number of expensive luxury items, but reports little or no income on their tax returns, the government will definitely want to know where the money to buy all those things came from, and why it hasn't been declared as taxable income.
Another typical reason for tax audits in Bakersfield, California is when a taxpayer claims a large number of deductions. A deduction is simply a legally-permitted 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 Bakersfield, California Tax Lawyer Help?
If you experience an audit in Bakersfield, California, 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 typically light. It will probably be little more than a requirement that you pay back taxes and interest.
However, there are some tax audits where the underlying facts are much more confusing than a simple misunderstanding. In these cases, a good tax attorney in Bakersfield, California may be necessary to ensure that the process is as painless as it can possibly be.
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Life in BakersfieldBakersfield, California is a city of over 300,000 people, located in Kern County, roughly at the midpoint between Los Angeles and Fresno. Bakersfield is considered one of the sunniest places in the United States.
Bakersfield, California's economy mostly revolves around oil and agriculture. Its other sectors largely operate in support of those major industries. In fact, Kern County is the most oil-productive county in the U.S. - and is responsible for about 10% of America's domestic oil production. Kern County is also one of the most agriculturally-productive regions in the United States, and is particularly well-suited for growing grapes, citrus fruit, roses, and almonds. Needless to say, Bakersfield is, and will continue to be, a very important part of America's economy.
More recently, however, other industries (such as manufacturing) have moved into Bakersfield, California, thanks to an abundance of inexpensive land.
In addition to the steady economic stimulus provided by industry, Bakersfield, California, has another relatively stable economic lifeline: a large four-year university. California State University, Bakersfield has approximately 7,800 students, from all over California, and the country.
It should go without saying, then, that there is no shortage of Bakersfield, California lawyers. Whatever legal issue you or a loved one might be facing, a Bakersfield, California lawyer can help.