Tax Audit Lawyers in Great Barrington
In Great Barrington, 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. 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.
The actual process involved in a tax audit in Great Barrington, Massachusetts is usually 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 essential 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 actually being audited.
Once you receive the letter, and confirm its authenticity, you will have to meet with an auditor at the time and place specified 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 Great Barrington, Massachusetts
There are plethora of reasons why Massachusetts's government, or the federal government, might conduct a tax audit.
A taxpayer can be chosen for an audit at random, even if the tax authorities don't suspect any wrongdoing. The idea behind these random audits is to keep taxpayers on their toes. So, if you are audited for this reason, and know that you've done everything thoroughly in filing your taxes, you will likely be fine.
On the other hand, there are also specific reasons why the tax authorities in Great Barrington, Massachusetts might want to conduct a tax audit. The most common reason for a tax audit is suspicion that a taxpayer has not reported all of the income they earned in a particular year. This suspicion often arises when a taxpayer buys a large number of expensive luxury items, but only claims a small amount of income on their tax return. Obviously, the tax man will be very interested in learning where someone who is claiming a minimum-wage level income on their taxes got the money to buy a sports car.
Claiming an unusually-high number of deductions is another common reason for tax audits in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. A tax deduction is some expenditure that you can subtract from your taxable income, thereby reducing your tax liability. If you claim such a large number of deductions that your tax liability has been reduced to almost nothing, the IRS will probably want to make sure that all of these deductions are legitimate.
How Can A Great Barrington, Massachusetts Tax Lawyer Help?
If you experience an audit in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and believe that you have properly reported all of your income on your tax filings, it will probably go fine. And if there is anything wrong with your filings, it was likely the result of an honest mistake, and auditors are generally sensitive to this fact. In such cases, the penalty is usually light. It will probably be little more than a requirement that you pay back taxes and interest.
However, there are times when an audit is conducted to investigate far more significant issues. If you find yourself facing allegations from the IRS of serious wrongdoing, and believe yourself to be innocent, you should seek the advice of a Great Barrington, Massachusetts tax attorney immediately.