Tax Audit Lawyers in Arlington
A "tax audit" is a procedure in Arlington, Virginia where a taxpayer's tax return is investigated in detail, to ensure that everything on it is accurate. There are many different reasons why you might be audited, but it's usually because there is something suspicious about your tax return. This doesn't necessarily mean that you did anything wrong; it just means that the tax authorities aren't clear about what is going on with your financial situation, and want to investigate further to clear things up, and ensure that nothing illegal has happened.
In Arlington, Virginia the procedure of being audited is relatively simple. If you are chosen to be audited, you will receive a letter in the mail telling you as much. It's important to verify the authenticity of this letter, because sometimes con-artists will pose as tax authorities, and conduct fake audits of unsuspecting taxpayers, then claim that they owe the government more money. If the victim pays, the scammer takes the money and runs. To verify that a letter is authentic, you should contact the nearest branch of the relevant tax authority. Do not simply call the number provided to you in the letter, since it will probably lead to the scammer. Use a phonebook or the Internet to find the actual number you should call.
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 Arlington, Virginia
There are various different reasons why the federal government, or the tax authorities of Virginia might decide that a tax audit is warranted in your case.
As mentioned earlier, you might get audited just because you were chosen at random. If this is the case, and you know that your tax return was totally truthful, and have the documentation to back it up, you shouldn't have anything to worry about.
On the other hand, there are also specific reasons why the tax authorities in Arlington, Virginia might want to conduct a tax audit. The most common 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 large number of expensive luxury items, but only claims a small amount of income on their tax return. Obviously, the tax man will be very 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 common sources of tax deductions in Arlington, Virginia 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 actually gave, for example). A wide 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 Arlington, Virginia Tax Lawyer Help?
If you find yourself being audited in Arlington, Virginia, and are sure that you have done everything right in preparing your taxes, then the audit will likely be over rapidly, with no penalties imposed. In cases like this, if anything is found to be wrong with your tax return, it is likely the result of an honest mistake, and the auditor will be aware of this, and will likely give you an opportunity to correct your mistake, without suffering any penalties, with the possible exception of being made to pay interest on any back taxes you owe.
But, in more complicated cases, chances are you would be well-served by a tax lawyer in Arlington, Virginia, to ensure that your tax audit goes smoothly.