Tax Audit Lawyers in Odessa
An "audit" is an administrative proceeding in Odessa, 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 usually 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 Odessa, Texas, the process of a tax audit is generally not convoluted. 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 actually 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 have confirmed that your audit is authentic, you will be obligated to meet the auditor at an agreed-upon time and place. The auditor will usually inform you about what documents and other proof you need to take to the meeting. At the meeting, they will ask you a long series of questions about your taxes, to clear up the thing they're uncertain about.
Reasons For a Tax Audit in Odessa, Texas
There are numerous reasons why the federal government, or the government of Texas may want to audit a taxpayer.
A taxpayer can be chosen for an audit at random, even if the tax authorities don't suspect any wrongdoing. The idea behind these random audits is to keep taxpayers on their toes. So, if you are audited for this reason, and know that you've done everything thoroughly in filing your taxes, you will likely be fine.
On the other hand, some taxpayers in Odessa, Texas are audited for a specific reason, rather than being drawn at random. If the tax authorities believe that you have underreported your income, that is a very typical reason for a tax audit. For example, if you claim on your tax return that you make ,000 per year, and, in the same year, buy an expensive luxury item, the tax authorities will wonder where you got that extra money, and why you're not paying taxes on it.
If you claim such a large number of deductions that your tax liability is unusually low, you may well be subject to an audit in Odessa, Texas. A deduction is an allowable reduction in your taxable income, requiring you to pay taxes on a smaller portion of your income. Certain business expenses and charitable donations are common sources of tax deductions. However, some people add invalid deductions to their tax returns to reduce their tax burden. If the IRS is suspicious about your deductions, you should make sure you have proper documentation to back them up.
How Can A Odessa, Texas Tax Lawyer Help?
If you are audited in Odessa, Texas, and believe that you have done everything right in preparing 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 - usuallyy 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 perplexing than a simple misunderstanding. In these cases, a good tax attorney in Odessa, Texas may be necessary to ensure that the process is as painless as it can possibly be.