Tax Audit Lawyers in Berrien County
In Berrien County, 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. 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 Berrien County, Michigan 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.
After confirming that the letter informing you of your audit is authentic, there are various things you can do to prepare for your meeting with the auditor. The initial 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 proof 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 concerns 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 Berrien County, Michigan
There are plethora of reasons why Michigan's government, or the federal government, might conduct a tax audit.
As considered earlier, tax audits can be conducted at random. Apparently, the government doesn't have the resources to audit every taxpayer under their jurisdiction. But, by conducting a substantial 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 definately have nothing to worry about.
Nonetheless, some people in Berrien County, Michigan are audited because the government suspects that they are underreporting their income. For instance, 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 discover where the money to buy that car came from.
Likewise, attempting to deduct a large percentage of your income is likely to raise suspicions. A tax deduction is a way to lower one's tax liability by making some of one's income non-taxable. Some customary sources of tax deductions in Berrien County, Michigan are business expenses and charitable donations. Some people, nonetheless, try to include incorrect deductions in their tax returns (attempting to deduct charitable donations they never truly gave, for example). A large 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 Berrien County, Michigan Tax Lawyer Help?
If you find yourself being audited in Berrien County, Michigan, and are sure that you have done everything right in preparing your taxes, then the audit will likely be over rapidly, with no penalties imposed. In cases like this, if anything is found to be wrong with your tax return, it is likely the result of an honest mistake, and the auditor will be aware of this, and will likely give you an opportunity to correct your mistake, without suffering any penalties, with the possible exception of being made to pay interest on any back taxes you owe.
But, in more difficult cases, chances are you would be well-served by a tax lawyer in Berrien County, Michigan, to ensure that your tax audit goes smoothly.