Tax Audit Lawyers in Cape Girardeau
In Cape Girardeau, Missouri, 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 some number of random audits each year, without necessarily suspecting that an individual auditee has done anything wrong.
In Cape Girardeau, Missouri, the process of a tax audit is typically not convoluted. If you get a letter saying that you have been chosen for an audit, you should still take it seriously, however. The first thing you need to do is confirm that you are really being audited, because there are fraudsters who impersonate tax collectors, attempting to squeeze money out of innocent victims. When you receive such a letter, you should use the phone book or Internet to find the contact info for the government agency that the letter claims to be from, and contact them. Do not rely on any contact information provided in the letter, as it may direct you to the scammer, who will just pretend to be a representative of the IRS.
Once you have made sure that your audit is indeed real, you can do a few things to get prepared for it. Most notably, you should collect all of the documents that the auditor has asked for, as well as any further documents and evidence that you think might help clear up any confusion about your tax return. You should bring these to the meeting with the auditor, and truthfully (to the best of your knowledge) answer all of the questions that the auditor asks.
Reasons For a Tax Audit in Cape Girardeau, Missouri
There are numerous different reasons why the federal government, or the tax authorities of Missouri might decide that a tax audit is warranted in your case.
As mentioned earlier, you might get audited just because you were chosen at random. If this is the case, and you know that your tax return was totally truthful, and have the documentation to back it up, you shouldn't have anything to worry about.
Nonetheless if the IRS or other tax agency suspects actual wrongdoing by a Cape Girardeau, Missouri taxpayer, that's a different matter. There are numerous different reasons why a government might determine to audit a taxpayer. The most frequent one is suspicion that they have underreported their income. If a taxpayer buys a massive 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.
If you claim such a massive number of deductions that your tax liability is unusually low, you may well be subject to an audit in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. A deduction is an allowable reduction in your taxable income, requiring you to pay taxes on a smaller portion of your income. Particular business expenses and charitable donations are frequent sources of tax deductions. However, some people add invalid deductions to their tax returns to reduce their tax burden. If the IRS is suspicious about your deductions, you should make sure you have relevant documentation to back them up.
How Can A Cape Girardeau, Missouri Tax Lawyer Help?
If you are audited in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and believe that you have done everything right in gathering and filing your tax return, you likely don't have much to worry about. If there is anything wrong with your tax return, it was likely the result of an honest mistake, which will result in light penalties - normallyy just an order to pay any back taxes you owe, plus interest.
However, there are some tax audits where the underlying facts are much more intricate than a simple misunderstanding. In these cases, a good tax attorney in Cape Girardeau, Missouri may be necessary to ensure that the process is as painless as it can possibly be.