Tax Audit in Costa Mesa, 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 process of a Costa Mesa, California tax audit is typically 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. However, 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 pursue 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 required to meet the auditor at an agreed-upon time and place. The auditor will typically inform you about what documents and other evidence 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 Costa Mesa, California
There are many 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 properly in filing your taxes, you will probably be fine.
On the other hand, there are also particular reasons why the tax authorities in Costa Mesa, California 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 given 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 Costa Mesa, 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 huge 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 valid.
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How Can A Costa Mesa, California Tax Lawyer Help?
If you are audited in Costa Mesa, California, and believe that you have done everything right in collecting and filing your tax return, you probably don't have much to worry about. If there is anything wrong with your tax return, it was probably the result of an honest mistake, which will result in light penalties - typicallyy just an order to pay any back taxes you owe, plus interest.
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 Costa Mesa, California tax attorney as soon as possible, to help make sure that your tax audit goes smoothly.