Tax Audit Lawyers in Galveston County
An "audit" is an administrative proceeding in Galveston County, Texas 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 Galveston County, Texas, the process of a tax audit is typically not difficult. 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 receive the letter, and confirm its authenticity, you will have to meet with an auditor at the time and place mentioned in the letter, and subsequent communications with the auditor. The auditor will tell you what documents and records you need to bring to the meeting. They will then ask you some questions to clear up whatever discrepancy they found in your tax return.
Reasons For a Tax Audit in Galveston County, Texas
There are plethora of reasons why Texas's government, or the federal government, might conduct a tax audit.
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.
On the other hand, there are also certain reasons why the tax authorities in Galveston County, Texas 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 particular 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.
Likewise, attempting to deduct a large percentage of your income is likely to raise suspicions. A tax deduction is a way to lower one's tax liability by making some of one's income non-taxable. Some frequent sources of tax deductions in Galveston County, Texas are business expenses and charitable donations. Some people, nonetheless, try to include incorrect deductions in their tax returns (attempting to deduct charitable donations they never really gave, for example). A large number of deductions will be highly suspicious to the tax authorities, and they will want to see evidence to support every deduction you claim, if you're audited.
How Can A Galveston County, Texas Tax Lawyer Help?
If you are audited in Galveston County, Texas, and believe that you have done everything right in gathering 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 - normallyy just an order to pay any back taxes you owe, plus interest.
But, there are some tax audits that are far more difficult and serious than a tax return having a few more deductions than usual. If this is the situation you're in, you should contact a Galveston County, Texas tax attorney as soon as possible, to help make sure that your tax audit goes smoothly.