Tax Audit Lawyers in St. Clair
A "tax audit" is a procedure in St. Clair, Missouri where the tax authorities investigate a taxpayer's (whether the taxpayer is a person or corporation) filings when it looks like there's some kind of discrepancy. However, many state and federal tax audits are the result of random selection, when the authorities don't necessarily think that a taxpayer has deliberately evaded their taxes.
In St. Clair, Missouri the procedure of being audited is relatively simple. If you are chosen to be audited, you will receive a letter in the mail telling you as much. It's important to verify the authenticity of this letter, because sometimes con-artists will pose as tax authorities, and conduct fake audits of unsuspecting taxpayers, then claim that they owe the government more money. If the victim pays, the scammer takes the money and runs. To verify that a letter is authentic, you should contact the nearest branch of the relevant tax authority. Do not simply call the number provided to you in the letter, since it will probably lead to the scammer. Use a phonebook or the Internet to find the actual number you should call.
Once you have confirmed that your audit is authentic, you will be required to meet the auditor at an agreed-upon time and place. The auditor will usually inform you about what documents and other evidence you need to take to the meeting. At the meeting, they will ask you a long series of questions about your taxes, to clear up the thing they're uncertain about.
Reasons For a Tax Audit in St. Clair, Missouri
Tax Audits in Missouri can occur for a wide variety of different reasons.
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 St. Clair, Missouri 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 common 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 St. Clair, Missouri 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 huge 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 St. Clair, Missouri Tax Lawyer Help?
If you find yourself being audited in St. Clair, Missouri, and are certain that you have done everything right in preparing your taxes, then the audit will probably be over quickly, 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 probably 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 perplexing cases, chances are you would be well-served by a tax lawyer in St. Clair, Missouri, to ensure that your tax audit goes smoothly.