Tax Audit Lawyers in Monterey County
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 Monterey County, 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 made sure that your audit is indeed real, you can do a few things to get prepared for it. Most especially, you should collect all of the documents that the auditor has asked for, as well as any further documents and evidence that you think might help clear up any confusion about your tax return. You should bring these to the meeting with the auditor, and truthfully (to the best of your knowledge) answer all of the questions that the auditor asks.
Reasons For a Tax Audit in Monterey County, California
There are various reasons why the federal government, or the government of California may want to audit a taxpayer.
As considered earlier, an audit might happen due to a taxpayer being randomly selected. If this happens to you, and you have been straightforward on your tax returns, it's unlikely that you'll have much to worry about.
Nonetheless if the IRS or other tax agency suspects actual wrongdoing by a Monterey County, California taxpayer, that's a different matter. There are various different reasons why a government might determine to audit a taxpayer. The most frequent one is suspicion that they have underreported their income. If a taxpayer buys a massive number of expensive luxury items, but reports little or no income on their tax returns, the government will definitely want to discover where the money to buy all those things came from, and why it hasn't been declared as taxable income.
Claiming an unusually-high number of deductions is another frequent reason for tax audits in Monterey County, 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 wide 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.
How Can A Monterey County, California Tax Lawyer Help?
If you find yourself on the business end of a tax audit in Monterey County, 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.
But, in more difficult cases, chances are you would be well-served by a tax lawyer in Monterey County, California, to ensure that your tax audit goes smoothly.