Tax Audit Lawyers in Decatur
A "tax audit" in Illinois is the process by which the appropriate 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, normally 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 Decatur, Illinois, the process of a tax audit is typically 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 really 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 made sure that your audit is indeed real, you can do a few things to get prepared for it. Most notably, you should collect all of the documents that the auditor has asked for, as well as any further documents and evidence that you think might help clear up any confusion about your tax return. You should bring these to the meeting with the auditor, and truthfully (to the best of your knowledge) answer all of the questions that the auditor asks.
Reasons For a Tax Audit in Decatur, Illinois
There are numerous different reasons why the federal government, or the tax authorities of Illinois might decide that a tax audit is warranted in your case.
As considered earlier, an audit might happen due to a taxpayer being randomly selected. If this happens to you, and you have been straightforward on your tax returns, it's unlikely that you'll have much to worry about.
Nonetheless, some people in Decatur, Illinois are audited because the government suspects that they are underreporting their income. For instance, if you report that you only make ,000 per year, and then go out and buy an expensive sports car, the IRS and state tax authorities are going to want to discover where the money to buy that car came from.
Claiming an unusually-high number of deductions is another frequent reason for tax audits in Decatur, Illinois. A tax deduction is some expenditure that you can subtract from your taxable income, thereby reducing your tax liability. If you claim such a large 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 legitimate.
How Can A Decatur, Illinois Tax Lawyer Help?
If you find yourself on the business end of a tax audit in Decatur, Illinois, and you are sure that you have reported all of your income, and not claimed any invalid deductions, chances are you were just chosen at random for an audit, and you likely don't have any cause for concern, other than the inconvenience that an audit represents. If you are deemed to owe any back taxes, and your failure to pay in the past was the result of an honest mistake, you'll likely be afforded a chance to pay any taxes you owe from past years, with the possible addition of interest.
However, there are times when an audit is conducted to investigate far more significant issues. If you find yourself facing allegations from the IRS of serious wrongdoing, and believe yourself to be innocent, you should obtain the advice of a Decatur, Illinois tax attorney immediately.