Tax Audit Lawyers in Benton Harbor
In Benton Harbor, Michigan, 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 Benton Harbor, Michigan 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.
After confirming that the letter informing you of your audit is authentic, there are many things you can do to prepare for your meeting with the auditor. The first 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 evidence 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 contentions 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 Benton Harbor, Michigan
There are plenty of reasons why Michigan'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.
However, some people in Benton Harbor, Michigan are audited because the government suspects that they are underreporting their income. For example, if you report that you only make ,000 per year, and then go out and buy an expensive sports car, the IRS and state tax authorities are going to want to know where the money to buy that car came from.
Claiming an unusually-high number of deductions is another frequent reason for tax audits in Benton Harbor, Michigan. A tax deduction is some expenditure that you can subtract from your taxable income, thereby reducing your tax liability. If you claim such a huge 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 valid.
How Can A Benton Harbor, Michigan Tax Lawyer Help?
If you end up being tax audited, and you believe that you have not engaged in any wrongdoing, it's likely that you've been chosen randomly for an audit in Benton Harbor, Michigan. If this is the case, you shouldn't be worried. If you are found to have made a mistake on a past tax return, and paid less than you owed, you'll probably just be made to pay the balance due, plus a minimal bit of interest, without incurring any additional penalties.
However, if the situation is more complicated, you may need to hire a Benton Harbor, Michigan tax attorney. A tax attorney can help you through your audit, and make sure it goes as smoothly as possible.