Tax Audit Lawyers in Orinda
A "tax audit" in California is the process by which the relevant 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, usually 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 an Orinda, California tax audit is usually 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 seek 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 Orinda, California
There are various 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 thoroughly in filing your taxes, you will likely be fine.
But, some Orinda, California tax audits happen for a specific reason. This is usually because the IRS or your local tax authority suspects that you have not reported all of your income on your tax return. For instance, suppose that, last year, you bought an expensive new luxury car. But say you only claimed ,000 in total income that year. As you might imagine, the IRS is going to be very 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.
It is also typical to be audited in Orinda, California if you claim a wide number of deductions. A tax deduction is simply a legal subtraction from one's taxable income. Various different expenses, including charitable donations, interest paid on mortgages, and others, are deductible from one's taxes. If you claim so many deductions that you have negated almost all of your tax liability, you can bet that the government is going to be suspicious.
How Can A Orinda, California Tax Lawyer Help?
If you are audited in Orinda, California, and believe that you have done everything right in preparing and filing your tax return, you likely don't have much to worry about. If there is anything wrong with your tax return, it was likely the result of an honest mistake, which will result in light penalties - usuallyy just an order to pay any back taxes you owe, plus interest.
However, there are some tax audits where the underlying facts are much more perplexing than a simple misunderstanding. In these cases, a good tax attorney in Orinda, California may be necessary to ensure that the process is as painless as it can possibly be.