Tax Audit Lawyers in Lancaster
In Lancaster, 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. 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 actual process involved in a tax audit in Lancaster, Massachusetts is typically 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 truly being audited.
Once you receive the letter, and confirm its authenticity, you will have to meet with an auditor at the time and place stated 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 Lancaster, Massachusetts
There are numerous different reasons why the federal government, or the tax authorities of Massachusetts might decide that a tax audit is warranted in your case.
As considered earlier, an audit might happen due to a taxpayer being randomly selected. If this happens to you, and you have been forthright on your tax returns, it's unlikely that you'll have much to worry about.
Nonetheless if the IRS or other tax agency suspects actual wrongdoing by a Lancaster, Massachusetts 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.
Another typical reason for tax audits in Lancaster, Massachusetts is when a taxpayer claims a large number of deductions. A deduction is just a legally-permitted subtraction from a person's taxable income. For example, charitable donations can be deducted from one's income in the full amount of the donation. Nonetheless, if a person claims a very large number of deductions, to the point that they claim little or no tax liability, the tax authorities are going to take a closer look.
How Can A Lancaster, Massachusetts Tax Lawyer Help?
If you find yourself on the business end of a tax audit in Lancaster, Massachusetts, and you are sure that you have reported all of your income, and not claimed any invalid deductions, chances are you were just chosen at random for an audit, and you likely don't have any cause for concern, other than the inconvenience that an audit represents. If you are deemed to owe any back taxes, and your failure to pay in the past was the result of an honest mistake, you'll likely be afforded a chance to pay any taxes you owe from past years, with the possible addition of 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 pursue the advice of a Lancaster, Massachusetts tax attorney immediately.