Tax Audit Lawyers in Ottumwa
A "tax audit" in Iowa 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 Ottumwa, Iowa, the process of a tax audit is usually not complicated. 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.
After confirming that the audit you're facing is truly legitimate, there are a few things you can do to prepare. Initially, you should assemble all of the proper 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 list of questions, which you should answer honestly and to the best of your knowledge.
Reasons For a Tax Audit in Ottumwa, Iowa
There are plethora of reasons why Iowa's government, or the federal government, might conduct a tax audit.
As mentioned earlier, you might get audited just because you were chosen at random. If this is the case, and you know that your tax return was totally truthful, and have the documentation to back it up, you shouldn't have anything to worry about.
On the other hand, there are also particular reasons why the tax authorities in Ottumwa, Iowa might want to conduct a tax audit. The most prevalent reason for a tax audit is suspicion that a taxpayer has not reported all of the income they earned in a particular year. This suspicion often arises when a taxpayer buys a considerable number of expensive luxury items, but only claims a small amount of income on their tax return. Obviously, the tax man will be quite interested in learning where someone who is claiming a minimum-wage level income on their taxes got the money to buy a sports car.
It is also typical to be audited in Ottumwa, Iowa if you claim a wide number of deductions. A tax deduction is simply a legal subtraction from one's taxable income. Various different expenses, including charitable donations, interest paid on mortgages, and others, are deductible from one's taxes. If you claim so many deductions that you have negated almost all of your tax liability, you can bet that the government is going to be suspicious.
How Can A Ottumwa, Iowa Tax Lawyer Help?
If you find yourself being audited in Ottumwa, Iowa, 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.
Nonetheless, if the situation is more complicated, you may need to hire an Ottumwa, Iowa tax attorney. A tax attorney can help you through your audit, and make sure it goes as smoothly as possible.