Tax Audit Lawyers in St. Augustine
A "tax audit" in Florida 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 actual procedure involved in a tax audit in St. Augustine, Florida is usually fairly straightforward. If you hare chosen for an audit, you will receive a letter in the mail telling you as much. Before responding, it's important for you to make sure that the letter is authentic, because there are scammers who send fake audit letters to innocent victims, in an attempt to extort money out of them. You should search the Internet for the name of the organization that the letter claims to represent, and call them using the contact information on their website, and confirm that you are actually being audited.
After confirming that the audit you're facing is actually legitimate, there are a few things you can do to prepare. First, you should assemble all of the relevant documents you have in your possession. This should include your tax return, W-2 forms, and records of any expenses that you claim as deductions. You should bring these documents, and any others that the auditor requests, to the meeting. At the meeting, the auditor will ask you a series of questions, which you should answer honestly and to the best of your knowledge.
Reasons For a Tax Audit in St. Augustine, Florida
Tax Audits in Florida can occur for a wide variety of different reasons.
As mentioned earlier, you might get audited simply because you were chosen at random. If this is the case, and you know that your tax return was completely truthful, and have the documentation to back it up, you shouldn't have anything to worry about.
But, some St. Augustine, Florida tax audits occur 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 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 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.
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 common sources of tax deductions in St. Augustine, Florida 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 actually gave, for example). A huge 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 St. Augustine, Florida Tax Lawyer Help?
If you experience an audit in St. Augustine, Florida, 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 usually light. It will probably be little more than a requirement that you pay back taxes and interest.
However, there are some tax audits where the underlying facts are much more complex than a simple misunderstanding. In these cases, a good tax attorney in St. Augustine, Florida may be necessary to ensure that the process is as painless as it can possibly be.