Tax Audit Lawyers in Bainbridge Island
A "tax audit" is a procedure in Bainbridge Island, Washington 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 normally 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 Bainbridge Island, Washington 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.
After confirming that the audit you're facing is really legitimate, there are a few things you can do to prepare. First, you should assemble all of the appropriate 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 number of questions, which you should answer honestly and to the best of your knowledge.
Reasons For a Tax Audit in Bainbridge Island, Washington
Tax Audits in Washington can occur for a wide variety of different reasons.
As discussed earlier, tax audits can be conducted at random. Evidently, the government doesn't have the resources to audit every taxpayer under their jurisdiction. But, by conducting a considerable 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 certainly have nothing to worry about.
But, some Bainbridge Island, Washington tax audits occur for a certain reason. This is normally because the IRS or your local tax authority suspects that you have not reported all of your income on your tax return. For example, suppose that, last year, you bought an expensive new luxury car. But say you only claimed ,000 in total income that year. As you might imagine, the IRS is going to be extremely interested in finding out where the money for that car came from, and, if you have enough money to buy it, why you aren't paying taxes on that money.
Likewise, trying to deduct a large percentage of your income is likely to raise suspicions. A tax deduction is a way to reduce one's tax liability by making some of one's income non-taxable. Some frequent sources of tax deductions in Bainbridge Island, Washington are business expenses and charitable donations. Some people, however, try to include false deductions in their tax returns (trying to deduct charitable donations they never really gave, for example). A massive 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 Bainbridge Island, Washington Tax Lawyer Help?
If you are audited in Bainbridge Island, Washington, and believe that you have done everything right in gathering and filing your tax return, you probably don't have much to worry about. If there is anything wrong with your tax return, it was probably 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, in more complicated cases, chances are you would be well-served by a tax lawyer in Bainbridge Island, Washington, to ensure that your tax audit goes smoothly.