Tax Audit Lawyers in American Fork
An "audit" is an administrative proceeding in American Fork, Utah 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 American Fork, Utah, the process of a tax audit is generally not confusing. 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.
After confirming that the audit you're facing is actually legitimate, there are a few things you can do to prepare. Initially, you should assemble all of the relevant 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 series of questions, which you should answer honestly and to the best of your knowledge.
Reasons For a Tax Audit in American Fork, Utah
There are plethora of reasons why Utah's government, or the federal government, might conduct a tax audit.
As considered earlier, tax audits can be conducted at random. Obviously, the government doesn't have the resources to audit every taxpayer under their jurisdiction. But, by conducting a significant 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 an American Fork, Utah taxpayer, that's a different matter. There are various different reasons why a government might determine to audit a taxpayer. The most common one is suspicion that they have underreported their income. If a taxpayer buys a large 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.
Another common reason for tax audits in American Fork, Utah is when a taxpayer claims a large number of deductions. A deduction is just a legally-allowed subtraction from a person's taxable income. For example, charitable donations can be deducted from one's income in the full amount of the donation. Nonetheless, 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 American Fork, Utah Tax Lawyer Help?
If you experience an audit in American Fork, Utah, and believe that you have properly reported all of your income on your tax filings, it will probably go fine. And if there is anything wrong with your filings, it was likely the result of an honest mistake, and auditors are generally sensitive to this fact. In such cases, the penalty is usually light. It will probably be little more than a requirement that you pay back taxes and interest.
But, there are some tax audits that are far more confusing and serious than a tax return having a few more deductions than usual. If this is the situation you're in, you should contact an American Fork, Utah tax attorney as soon as possible, to help make sure that your tax audit goes smoothly.