Tax Audit Lawyers in Baton Rouge
In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 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. Normally, 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.
The process of a Baton Rouge, Louisiana tax audit is normally pretty straightforward. If and when you are faced with a tax audit, you'll receive a letter from the IRS, or its state equivalent, telling you that you're being audited. Nonetheless, you should not assume that this letter is authentic, because con artists will sometimes send fake audit letters to squeeze money out of innocent taxpayers. You should obtain independent confirmation of the letter's authenticity by searching the Internet for the name of the government agency in question, and contact them for more information.
After confirming that the letter informing you of your audit is authentic, there are many 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 contentions 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 Baton Rouge, Louisiana
There are various reasons why the federal government, or the government of Louisiana may want to audit a taxpayer.
As considered earlier, tax audits can be conducted at random. Evidently, the government doesn't have the resources to audit every taxpayer under their jurisdiction. But, by conducting a considerable 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.
On the other hand, some taxpayers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana are audited for a certain reason, rather than being drawn at random. If the tax authorities believe that you have underreported your income, that is a very frequent reason for a tax audit. For example, if you claim on your tax return that you make ,000 per year, and, in the same year, buy an expensive luxury item, the tax authorities will wonder where you got that extra money, and why you're not paying taxes on it.
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 frequent sources of tax deductions in Baton Rouge, Louisiana 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 really gave, for example). A wide 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 Baton Rouge, Louisiana Tax Lawyer Help?
If you are audited in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and believe that you have done everything right in gathering and filing your tax return, you likely don't have much to worry about. If there is anything wrong with your tax return, it was likely the result of an honest mistake, which will result in light penalties - normallyy just an order to pay any back taxes you owe, plus interest.
However, there are some tax audits where the underlying facts are much more intricate than a simple misunderstanding. In these cases, a good tax attorney in Baton Rouge, Louisiana may be necessary to ensure that the process is as painless as it can possibly be.