Tax Audit Lawyers in Cumberland
In Cumberland, Maryland, 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 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 Cumberland, Maryland 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 crucial 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.
After confirming that the audit you're facing is actually legitimate, there are a few things you can do to prepare. First, you should assemble all of the relevant documents you have in your possession. This should include your tax return, W-2 forms, and records of any expenses that you claim as deductions. You should bring these documents, and any others that the auditor requests, to the meeting. At the meeting, the auditor will ask you a series of questions, which you should answer honestly and to the best of your knowledge.
Reasons For a Tax Audit in Cumberland, Maryland
There are several reasons why the federal government, or the government of Maryland may want to audit a taxpayer.
As discussed earlier, tax audits can be conducted at random. Obviously, the government doesn't have the resources to audit every taxpayer under their jurisdiction. But, by conducting a significant 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.
On the other hand, some taxpayers in Cumberland, Maryland are audited for a specific reason, rather than being drawn at random. If the tax authorities believe that you have underreported your income, that is a very recognized reason for a tax audit. For instance, if you claim on your tax return that you make ,000 per year, and, in the same year, purchase 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, 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 common sources of tax deductions in Cumberland, Maryland 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 actually gave, for example). A massive 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 Cumberland, Maryland Tax Lawyer Help?
If you are audited in Cumberland, Maryland, and believe that you have done everything right in preparing 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 - usuallyy just an order to pay any back taxes you owe, plus interest.
But, in more confusing cases, chances are you would be well-served by a tax lawyer in Cumberland, Maryland, to ensure that your tax audit goes smoothly.