Tax Audit Lawyers in Ames
A "tax audit" in Iowa 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.
In Ames, Iowa, the process of a tax audit is generally not convoluted. 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 actually 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 simply pretend to be a representative of the IRS.
Once you have confirmed that your audit is authentic, you will be required to meet the auditor at an agreed-upon time and place. The auditor will usually inform you about what documents and other evidence 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 Ames, Iowa
There are several reasons why the federal government, or the government of Iowa 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 properly in filing your taxes, you will probably be fine.
On the other hand, there are also specific reasons why the tax authorities in Ames, Iowa 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 Ames, Iowa. 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 Ames, Iowa Tax Lawyer Help?
If you experience an audit in Ames, Iowa, 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 times when an audit is conducted to investigate far more serious issues. If you find yourself facing allegations from the IRS of serious wrongdoing, and believe yourself to be innocent, you should seek the advice of an Ames, Iowa tax attorney immediately.