Tax Audit Lawyers in Bristol
An "audit" is an administrative proceeding in Bristol, Pennsylvania whereby the IRS, or a local tax-collection agency looks at a person's (or business's) tax filings in more detail than they do in ordinary cases. This is normally done when the tax return has a suspicious discrepancy on it, or if the taxpayer was simply picked at random. It's not uncommon for tax authorities to conduct random audits, providing people with an incentive to be honest on their taxes, knowing that they could be audited at random.
In Bristol, Pennsylvania 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.
After confirming that the letter informing you of your audit is authentic, there are many things you can do to prepare for your meeting with the auditor. The first 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 evidence 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 contentions 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 Bristol, Pennsylvania
There are many different reasons why the federal government, or the tax authorities of Pennsylvania might decide that a tax audit is warranted in your case.
As mentioned earlier, you might get audited simply because you were chosen at random. If this is the case, and you know that your tax return was completely truthful, and have the documentation to back it up, you shouldn't have anything to worry about.
On the other hand, there are also certain reasons why the tax authorities in Bristol, Pennsylvania might want to conduct a tax audit. The most frequent reason for a tax audit is suspicion that a taxpayer has not reported all of the income they earned in a given year. This suspicion often arises when a taxpayer buys a massive number of expensive luxury items, but only claims a small amount of income on their tax return. Obviously, the tax man will be extremely interested in learning where someone who is claiming a minimum-wage level income on their taxes got the money to buy a sports car.
It is also common to be audited in Bristol, Pennsylvania if you claim a huge number of deductions. A tax deduction is simply a legal subtraction from one's taxable income. Many different expenses, including charitable donations, interest paid on mortgages, and others, are deductible from one's taxes. If you claim so many deductions that you have negated almost all of your tax liability, you can bet that the government is going to be suspicious.
How Can A Bristol, Pennsylvania Tax Lawyer Help?
If you are audited in Bristol, Pennsylvania, and believe that you have done everything right in gathering and filing your tax return, you probably don't have much to worry about. If there is anything wrong with your tax return, it was probably 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 difficult than a simple misunderstanding. In these cases, a good tax attorney in Bristol, Pennsylvania may be necessary to ensure that the process is as painless as it can possibly be.