Tax Audit in Lancaster, California

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A "tax audit" in California is the process by which the appropriate 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, normally 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 Lancaster, California tax audit is normally 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 obtain 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 normally 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 Lancaster, 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 straightforward and diligent in gathering 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 certain reasons why the tax authorities in Lancaster, California might want to conduct a tax audit. The most frequent 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 massive number of expensive luxury items, but only claims a small amount of income on their tax return. Obviously, the tax man will be extremely interested in learning where someone who is claiming a minimum-wage level income on their taxes got the money to buy a sports car.

Likewise, attempting to deduct a large percentage of your income is likely to raise suspicions. A tax deduction is a way to lower one's tax liability by making some of one's income non-taxable. Some frequent sources of tax deductions in Lancaster, California are business expenses and charitable donations. Some people, nonetheless, try to include incorrect deductions in their tax returns (attempting to deduct charitable donations they never really gave, for example). A wide 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 Lancaster, California Tax Lawyer Help?

If you experience an audit in Lancaster, 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 normally light. It will probably be little more than a requirement that you pay back taxes and interest.

But, there are some tax audits that are far more confusing 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 Lancaster, California tax attorney as soon as possible, to help make sure that your tax audit goes smoothly.

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