Tax Audit in Desert Hot Springs, 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 Desert Hot Springs, 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 Desert Hot Springs, California
A tax audit in California can be performed for almost any reason at all
As mentioned earlier, you might get audited simply because you were chosen at random. If this is the case, and you know that your tax return was completely truthful, and have the documentation to back it up, you shouldn't have anything to worry about.
But, some Desert Hot Springs, California tax audits occur for a particular reason. This is typically because the IRS or your local tax authority suspects that you have not reported all of your income on your tax return. For example, suppose that, last year, you bought an expensive new luxury car. But say you only claimed $25,000 in total income that year. As you might imagine, the IRS is going to be quite interested in finding out where the money for that car came from, and, if you have enough money to buy it, why you aren't paying taxes on that money.
Likewise, trying to deduct a large percentage of your income is likely to raise suspicions. A tax deduction is a way to reduce one's tax liability by making some of one's income non-taxable. Some customary sources of tax deductions in Desert Hot Springs, California are business expenses and charitable donations. Some people, however, try to include false deductions in their tax returns (trying to deduct charitable donations they never truly gave, for example). A massive 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 Desert Hot Springs, California Tax Lawyer Help?
If you experience an audit in Desert Hot Springs, 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 Desert Hot Springs, California may be necessary to ensure that the process is as painless as it can possibly be.