Tax Audit Lawyers in Woodside
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 random audits, where they audit taxpayers at random, without necessarily suspecting them of any wrongdoing.
The process of a Woodside, 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. 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 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.
After confirming that the letter informing you of your audit is authentic, there are various things you can do to prepare for your meeting with the auditor. The first thing you need to do is call them and arrange to meet at a time that's mutually convenient. You should bring any documents and records that the auditor requests, as well as any evidence that you think might be helpful in answering the auditor's questions. The auditor will ask you any questions that he or she believes will clear up whatever concerns they have with your return. You should answer all of these questions truthfully, as it is illegal to lie to a tax auditor.
Reasons For a Tax Audit in Woodside, California
There are several reasons why the federal government, or the government of California may want to audit a taxpayer.
As discussed earlier, an audit might occur due to a taxpayer being randomly selected. If this happens to you, and you have been forthright on your tax returns, it's unlikely that you'll have much to worry about.
But, some Woodside, California tax audits occur for a particular reason. This is typically because the IRS or your local tax authority suspects that you have not reported all of your income on your tax return. For example, 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 quite 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.
Likewise, trying to deduct a large percentage of your income is likely to raise suspicions. A tax deduction is a way to reduce one's tax liability by making some of one's income non-taxable. Some customary sources of tax deductions in Woodside, California are business expenses and charitable donations. Some people, however, try to include false deductions in their tax returns (trying to deduct charitable donations they never truly gave, for example). A massive 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.
How Can A Woodside, California Tax Lawyer Help?
If you experience an audit in Woodside, 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 typically 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 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 Woodside, California tax attorney as soon as possible, to help make sure that your tax audit goes smoothly.