Tax Audit Lawyers in Effingham
A "tax audit" in Illinois 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 random audits, where they audit taxpayers at random, without necessarily suspecting them of any wrongdoing.
In Effingham, Illinois, 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 simply 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 ready for it. Most vitally, you should gather all of the documents that the auditor has asked for, as well as any additional 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 Effingham, Illinois
There are several different reasons why the federal government, or the tax authorities of Illinois might decide that a tax audit is warranted in your case.
As discussed earlier, an audit might occur due to a taxpayer being randomly selected. If this happens to you, and you have been forthright on your tax returns, it's unlikely that you'll have much to worry about.
However if the IRS or other tax agency suspects actual wrongdoing by an Effingham, Illinois taxpayer, that's a different matter. There are several different reasons why a government might decide to audit a taxpayer. The most typical one is suspicion that they have underreported their income. If a taxpayer buys a considerable number of expensive luxury items, but reports little or no income on their tax returns, the government will definitely want to know where the money to buy all those things came from, and why it hasn't been declared as taxable income.
Another typical reason for tax audits in Effingham, Illinois is when a taxpayer claims a large number of deductions. A deduction is simply a legally-permitted subtraction from a person's taxable income. For instance, charitable donations can be deducted from one's income in the full amount of the donation. However, if a person claims a very large number of deductions, to the point that they claim little or no tax liability, the tax authorities are going to take a closer look.
How Can A Effingham, Illinois Tax Lawyer Help?
If you find yourself being audited in Effingham, Illinois, and are certain that you have done everything right in preparing your taxes, then the audit will probably be over quickly, 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 probably 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 complicated and serious than a tax return having a few more deductions than usual. If this is the situation you're in, you should contact an Effingham, Illinois tax attorney as soon as possible, to help make sure that your tax audit goes smoothly.