Tax Audit Lawyers in Cleveland
A "tax audit" is a procedure in Cleveland, Ohio 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 Cleveland, Ohio, 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 confirmed that your audit is authentic, you will be obligated to meet the auditor at an agreed-upon time and place. The auditor will normally inform you about what documents and other proof 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 Cleveland, Ohio
A tax audit in Ohio can be done for almost any reason at all
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.
Nonetheless if the IRS or other tax agency suspects actual wrongdoing by a Cleveland, Ohio taxpayer, that's a different matter. There are various 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.
Another frequent reason for tax audits in Cleveland, Ohio is when a taxpayer claims a large number of deductions. A deduction is just a legally-authorized subtraction from a person's taxable income. For example, charitable donations can be deducted from one's income in the full amount of the donation. Nonetheless, if a person claims a very large number of deductions, to the point that they claim little or no tax liability, the tax authorities are going to take a closer look.
How Can A Cleveland, Ohio Tax Lawyer Help?
If you find yourself on the business end of a tax audit in Cleveland, Ohio, 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 likely don't have any cause for concern, other than the inconvenience that an audit represents. If you are deemed 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 times when an audit is conducted to investigate far more significant issues. If you find yourself facing allegations from the IRS of serious wrongdoing, and believe yourself to be innocent, you should obtain the advice of a Cleveland, Ohio tax attorney immediately.