Tax Audit Lawyers in Butler County
An "audit" is an administrative proceeding in Butler County, 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 Butler County, 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 initial 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 proof 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 Butler County, Pennsylvania
There are numerous 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 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 Butler County, Pennsylvania 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.
Claiming an unusually-high number of deductions is another frequent reason for tax audits in Butler County, Pennsylvania. A tax deduction is some expenditure that you can subtract from your taxable income, thereby reducing your tax liability. If you claim such a large number of deductions that your tax liability has been reduced to almost nothing, the IRS will probably want to make sure that all of these deductions are legitimate.
How Can A Butler County, Pennsylvania Tax Lawyer Help?
If you find yourself on the business end of a tax audit in Butler County, Pennsylvania, 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.
But, in more difficult cases, chances are you would be well-served by a tax lawyer in Butler County, Pennsylvania, to ensure that your tax audit goes smoothly.