Tax Audit Lawyers in Northampton
An "audit" is an administrative proceeding in Northampton, 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 typically 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 Northampton, Pennsylvania is typically 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 truly legitimate, there are a few things you can do to prepare. Initially, you should assemble all of the proper 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 list of questions, which you should answer honestly and to the best of your knowledge.
Reasons For a Tax Audit in Northampton, Pennsylvania
There are various reasons why the federal government, or the government of Pennsylvania may want to audit a taxpayer.
As considered earlier, tax audits can be conducted at random. Apparently, the government doesn't have the resources to audit every taxpayer under their jurisdiction. But, by conducting a substantial 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 definately have nothing to worry about.
Nonetheless if the IRS or other tax agency suspects actual wrongdoing by a Northampton, Pennsylvania taxpayer, that's a different matter. There are various different reasons why a government might determine to audit a taxpayer. The most typical one is suspicion that they have underreported their income. If a taxpayer buys a considerable 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 prevalent reason for tax audits in Northampton, 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 wide 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 Northampton, Pennsylvania Tax Lawyer Help?
If you are audited in Northampton, Pennsylvania, and believe that you have done everything right in collecting and filing your tax return, you likely don't have much to worry about. If there is anything wrong with your tax return, it was likely the result of an honest mistake, which will result in light penalties - typicallyy just an order to pay any back taxes you owe, plus 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 pursue the advice of a Northampton, Pennsylvania tax attorney immediately.