Tax Audit Lawyers in Westlake
In Westlake, 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. Typically, 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 Westlake, Louisiana tax audit is typically 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 pursue 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 various 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 concerns 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 Westlake, Louisiana
A tax audit in Louisiana can be performed for almost any reason at all
As mentioned above, an audit can happen simply because a person was chosen for an audit at random. If you are randomly chosen for a tax audit, and you have been forthright and diligent in collecting your tax documents, it will probably be a quick, painless process, and you likely don't have anything to worry about.
Nonetheless if the IRS or other tax agency suspects actual wrongdoing by a Westlake, Louisiana taxpayer, that's a different matter. There are numerous different reasons why a government might determine 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 discover where the money to buy all those things came from, and why it hasn't been declared as taxable income.
If you claim such a considerable number of deductions that your tax liability is unusually low, you may well be subject to an audit in Westlake, Louisiana. A deduction is an allowable reduction in your taxable income, requiring you to pay taxes on a smaller portion of your income. Specific business expenses and charitable donations are customary sources of tax deductions. However, some people add invalid deductions to their tax returns to reduce their tax burden. If the IRS is suspicious about your deductions, you should make sure you have appropriate documentation to back them up.
How Can A Westlake, Louisiana Tax Lawyer Help?
If you are audited in Westlake, Louisiana, and believe that you have done everything right in collecting 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 - typicallyy just an order to pay any back taxes you owe, plus interest.
But, in more difficult cases, chances are you would be well-served by a tax lawyer in Westlake, Louisiana, to ensure that your tax audit goes smoothly.