Tax Audit in Laguna Beach, 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 unexpected audits, where they audit taxpayers at random, without necessarily suspecting them of any wrongdoing.
The process of a Laguna Beach, 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. 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 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 obligated to meet the auditor at an agreed-upon time and place. The auditor will typically 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 Laguna Beach, California
Tax Audits in California can happen for a wide variety of various reasons.
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.
On the other hand, there are also particular reasons why the tax authorities in Laguna Beach, 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 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.
Another typical reason for tax audits in Laguna Beach, California is when a taxpayer claims a large number of deductions. A deduction is just a legally-permitted subtraction from a person's taxable income. For example, charitable donations can be deducted from one's income in the full amount of the donation. Nonetheless, 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 Laguna Beach, California 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 Laguna Beach, California. 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, in more confusing cases, chances are you would be well-served by a tax lawyer in Laguna Beach, California, to ensure that your tax audit goes smoothly.