Tax Audit Lawyers in Sebastopol
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 random audits, where they audit taxpayers at random, without necessarily suspecting them of any wrongdoing.
The process of a Sebastopol, 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. 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 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 ready for it. Most vitally, you should gather all of the documents that the auditor has asked for, as well as any additional 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 Sebastopol, California
There are plenty of reasons why California's government, or the federal government, might conduct a tax audit.
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 properly in filing your taxes, you will probably be fine.
On the other hand, there are also specific reasons why the tax authorities in Sebastopol, California might want to conduct a tax audit. The most common reason for a tax audit is suspicion that a taxpayer has not reported all of the income they earned in a given year. This suspicion often arises when a taxpayer buys a large number of expensive luxury items, but only claims a small amount of income on their tax return. Obviously, the tax man will be very interested in learning where someone who is claiming a minimum-wage level income on their taxes got the money to buy a sports car.
Claiming an unusually-high number of deductions is another common reason for tax audits in Sebastopol, 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 massive 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 valid.
How Can A Sebastopol, California Tax Lawyer Help?
If you are audited in Sebastopol, California, and believe that you have done everything right in preparing and filing your tax return, you probably don't have much to worry about. If there is anything wrong with your tax return, it was probably 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.
But, there are some tax audits that are far more difficult 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 Sebastopol, California tax attorney as soon as possible, to help make sure that your tax audit goes smoothly.