Tax Audit Lawyers in Norristown
An "audit" is an administrative proceeding in Norristown, 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.
The procedure of being audited in Norristown, Pennsylvania is normally pretty simple. If and when the tax authorities decide to audit you, they'll send you a letter in the mail detailing what's about to happen. If you receive such a letter, it's extremely important that you make sure it's authentic. Sometimes, scam artists will send fake audit notices to people, claiming that they owe the government money. They will then collect their "taxes" and disappear. You should do an internet search for the name of the tax authority that the letter claims to represent, and call them to verify that you are being audited.
After confirming that the audit you're facing is really legitimate, there are a few things you can do to prepare. First, you should assemble all of the appropriate documents you have in your possession. This should include your tax return, W-2 forms, and records of any expenses that you claim as deductions. You should bring these documents, and any others that the auditor requests, to the meeting. At the meeting, the auditor will ask you a number of questions, which you should answer honestly and to the best of your knowledge.
Reasons For a Tax Audit in Norristown, Pennsylvania
There are several reasons why the federal government, or the government of Pennsylvania may want to audit a taxpayer.
As discussed earlier, tax audits can be conducted at random. Evidently, the government doesn't have the resources to audit every taxpayer under their jurisdiction. But, by conducting a considerable 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.
However if the IRS or other tax agency suspects actual wrongdoing by a Norristown, Pennsylvania taxpayer, that's a different matter. There are several different reasons why a government might decide 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 know 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 Norristown, Pennsylvania is when a taxpayer claims a large number of deductions. A deduction is simply a legally-authorized subtraction from a person's taxable income. For instance, charitable donations can be deducted from one's income in the full amount of the donation. However, 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 Norristown, Pennsylvania Tax Lawyer Help?
If you find yourself on the business end of a tax audit in Norristown, 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 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 times when an audit is conducted to investigate far more serious 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 Norristown, Pennsylvania tax attorney immediately.