Tax Audit in Cerritos, California
A "tax audit" in California 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 process of a Cerritos, California tax audit is usually pretty straightforward. If and when you are faced with a tax audit, you'll receive a letter from the IRS, or its state equivalent, telling you that you're being audited. Nonetheless, you should not assume that this letter is authentic, because con artists will sometimes send fake audit letters to squeeze money out of innocent taxpayers. You should seek independent confirmation of the letter's authenticity by searching the Internet for the name of the government agency in question, and contact them for more information.
Once you have confirmed that your audit is authentic, you will be obligated to meet the auditor at an agreed-upon time and place. The auditor will usually inform you about what documents and other proof you need to take to the meeting. At the meeting, they will ask you a long series of questions about your taxes, to clear up the thing they're uncertain about.
Reasons For a Tax Audit in Cerritos, California
There are numerous reasons why the federal government, or the government of California 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.
On the other hand, some taxpayers in Cerritos, California are audited for a specific reason, rather than being drawn at random. If the tax authorities believe that you have underreported your income, that is a very typical reason for a tax audit. For example, if you claim on your tax return that you make $30,000 per year, and, in the same year, buy an expensive luxury item, the tax authorities will wonder where you got that extra money, and why you're not paying taxes on it.
Claiming an unusually-high number of deductions is another common reason for tax audits in Cerritos, California. A tax deduction is some expenditure that you can subtract from your taxable income, thereby reducing your tax liability. If you claim such a large 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 Cerritos, California Tax Lawyer Help?
If you find yourself on the business end of a tax audit in Cerritos, California, and you are sure that you have reported all of your income, and not claimed any invalid deductions, chances are you were just chosen at random for an audit, and you likely don't have any cause for concern, other than the inconvenience that an audit represents. If you are deemed to owe any back taxes, and your failure to pay in the past was the result of an honest mistake, you'll likely be afforded a chance to pay any taxes you owe from past years, with the possible addition of interest.
Nonetheless, if the situation is more complicated, you may need to hire a Cerritos, California tax attorney. A tax attorney can help you through your audit, and make sure it goes as smoothly as possible.