Tax Audit Lawyers in Lancaster
A "tax audit" is a procedure in Lancaster, New York 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 Lancaster, New York, 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 simply pretend to be a representative of the IRS.
Once you receive the letter, and confirm its authenticity, you will have to meet with an auditor at the time and place mentioned in the letter, and subsequent communications with the auditor. The auditor will tell you what documents and records you need to bring to the meeting. They will then ask you some questions to clear up whatever discrepancy they found in your tax return.
Reasons For a Tax Audit in Lancaster, New York
There are plenty of reasons why New York's government, or the federal government, might conduct a tax audit.
As mentioned above, an audit can happen simply because a person was chosen for an audit at random. If you are randomly chosen for a tax audit, and you have been straightforward and diligent in gathering your tax documents, it will probably be a quick, painless process, and you likely don't have anything to worry about.
However, some people in Lancaster, New York 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.
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 frequent sources of tax deductions in Lancaster, New York 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 really 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 Lancaster, New York Tax Lawyer Help?
If you find yourself on the business end of a tax audit in Lancaster, New York, and you are sure that you have reported all of your income, and not claimed any invalid deductions, chances are you were just chosen at random for an audit, and you probably don't have any cause for concern, other than the inconvenience that an audit represents. If you are found to owe any back taxes, and your failure to pay in the past was the result of an honest mistake, you'll likely be afforded a chance to pay any taxes you owe from past years, with the possible addition of interest.
However, there are some tax audits where the underlying facts are much more difficult than a simple misunderstanding. In these cases, a good tax attorney in Lancaster, New York may be necessary to ensure that the process is as painless as it can possibly be.