Tax Audit Lawyers in Honolulu County
A "tax audit" in Hawaii 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 unexpected audits, where they audit taxpayers at random, without necessarily suspecting them of any wrongdoing.
In Honolulu County, Hawaii, the process of a tax audit is usually not confusing. If you get a letter saying that you have been chosen for an audit, you should still take it seriously, however. The first thing you need to do is confirm that you are truly being audited, because there are fraudsters who impersonate tax collectors, attempting to squeeze money out of innocent victims. When you receive such a letter, you should use the phone book or Internet to find the contact info for the government agency that the letter claims to be from, and contact them. Do not rely on any contact information provided in the letter, as it may direct you to the scammer, who will just pretend to be a representative of the IRS.
Once you have confirmed that your audit is authentic, you will be obligated to meet the auditor at an agreed-upon time and place. The auditor will typically inform you about what documents and other proof you need to take to the meeting. At the meeting, they will ask you a long series of questions about your taxes, to clear up the thing they're uncertain about.
Reasons For a Tax Audit in Honolulu County, Hawaii
There are numerous reasons why the federal government, or the government of Hawaii may want to audit a taxpayer.
As considered earlier, tax audits can be conducted at random. Apparently, the government doesn't have the resources to audit every taxpayer under their jurisdiction. But, by conducting a substantial number of random audits each year, taxpayers are, in theory, discouraged from cheating on their taxes, because they know that they might be audited randomly. If you are chosen for a random audit, and have done everything right, you almost definately have nothing to worry about.
On the other hand, some taxpayers in Honolulu County, Hawaii are audited for a particular reason, rather than being drawn at random. If the tax authorities believe that you have underreported your income, that is a very typical reason for a tax audit. For example, if you claim on your tax return that you make ,000 per year, and, in the same year, buy an expensive luxury item, the tax authorities will wonder where you got that extra money, and why you're not paying taxes on it.
Likewise, attempting to deduct a large percentage of your income is likely to raise suspicions. A tax deduction is a way to lower one's tax liability by making some of one's income non-taxable. Some customary sources of tax deductions in Honolulu County, Hawaii are business expenses and charitable donations. Some people, nonetheless, try to include incorrect deductions in their tax returns (attempting to deduct charitable donations they never truly gave, for example). A large 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 Honolulu County, Hawaii Tax Lawyer Help?
If you find yourself being audited in Honolulu County, Hawaii, and are sure that you have done everything right in preparing your taxes, then the audit will likely be over rapidly, with no penalties imposed. In cases like this, if anything is found to be wrong with your tax return, it is likely the result of an honest mistake, and the auditor will be aware of this, and will likely give you an opportunity to correct your mistake, without suffering any penalties, with the possible exception of being made to pay interest on any back taxes you owe.
But, there are some tax audits that are far more confusing 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 Honolulu County, Hawaii tax attorney as soon as possible, to help make sure that your tax audit goes smoothly.