Tax Audit Lawyers in Chatham
In Chatham, Massachusetts, 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 certain number of random audits each year, without necessarily suspecting that an individual auditee has done anything wrong.
The actual procedure involved in a tax audit in Chatham, Massachusetts is normally fairly straightforward. If you hare chosen for an audit, you will receive a letter in the mail telling you as much. Before responding, it's important for you to make sure that the letter is authentic, because there are scammers who send fake audit letters to innocent victims, in an attempt to extort money out of them. You should search the Internet for the name of the organization that the letter claims to represent, and call them using the contact information on their website, and confirm that you are really being audited.
Once you receive the letter, and confirm its authenticity, you will have to meet with an auditor at the time and place mentioned in the letter, and subsequent communications with the auditor. The auditor will tell you what documents and records you need to bring to the meeting. They will then ask you some questions to clear up whatever discrepancy they found in your tax return.
Reasons For a Tax Audit in Chatham, Massachusetts
There are plenty of reasons why Massachusetts's government, or the federal government, might conduct a tax audit.
As discussed 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 certainly have nothing to worry about.
But, some Chatham, Massachusetts tax audits occur for a certain reason. This is normally because the IRS or your local tax authority suspects that you have not reported all of your income on your tax return. For example, suppose that, last year, you bought an expensive new luxury car. But say you only claimed ,000 in total income that year. As you might imagine, the IRS is going to be extremely interested in finding out where the money for that car came from, and, if you have enough money to buy it, why you aren't paying taxes on that money.
Likewise, trying to deduct a large percentage of your income is likely to raise suspicions. A tax deduction is a way to reduce one's tax liability by making some of one's income non-taxable. Some frequent sources of tax deductions in Chatham, Massachusetts are business expenses and charitable donations. Some people, however, try to include false deductions in their tax returns (trying to deduct charitable donations they never really gave, for example). A huge 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 Chatham, Massachusetts Tax Lawyer Help?
If you are audited in Chatham, Massachusetts, and believe that you have done everything right in gathering and filing your tax return, you probably don't have much to worry about. If there is anything wrong with your tax return, it was probably 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 difficult than a simple misunderstanding. In these cases, a good tax attorney in Chatham, Massachusetts may be necessary to ensure that the process is as painless as it can possibly be.