Tax Audit Lawyers in South Bend
In South Bend, Indiana, a "tax audit" is a procedure in which the IRS or local tax authorities conduct an investigation of a taxpayer's tax filings, looking at them in more detail than they ordinarily do. Usually, they do this because there is something suspicious in the tax return. State and federal tax authorities also do a some number of random audits each year, without necessarily suspecting that an individual auditee has done anything wrong.
In South Bend, Indiana the procedure of being audited is relatively simple. If you are chosen to be audited, you will receive a letter in the mail telling you as much. It's important to verify the authenticity of this letter, because sometimes con-artists will pose as tax authorities, and conduct fake audits of unsuspecting taxpayers, then claim that they owe the government more money. If the victim pays, the scammer takes the money and runs. To verify that a letter is authentic, you should contact the nearest branch of the relevant tax authority. Do not simply call the number provided to you in the letter, since it will probably lead to the scammer. Use a phonebook or the Internet to find the actual number you should call.
After confirming that the letter informing you of your audit is authentic, there are several things you can do to prepare for your meeting with the auditor. The initial thing you need to do is call them and arrange to meet at a time that's mutually convenient. You should bring any documents and records that the auditor requests, as well as any proof that you think might be helpful in answering the auditor's questions. The auditor will ask you any questions that he or she believes will clear up whatever issues they have with your return. You should answer all of these questions truthfully, as it is illegal to lie to a tax auditor.
Reasons For a Tax Audit in South Bend, Indiana
There are numerous different reasons why the federal government, or the tax authorities of Indiana might decide that a tax audit is warranted in your case.
As considered earlier, tax audits can be conducted at random. Obviously, the government doesn't have the resources to audit every taxpayer under their jurisdiction. But, by conducting a significant 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.
Nonetheless, some people in South Bend, Indiana 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.
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 common sources of tax deductions in South Bend, Indiana 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 actually 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 South Bend, Indiana Tax Lawyer Help?
If you find yourself being audited in South Bend, Indiana, 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 convoluted 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 South Bend, Indiana tax attorney as soon as possible, to help make sure that your tax audit goes smoothly.