Tax Audit Lawyers in Burlington
A "tax audit" is a procedure in Burlington, 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 typically 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 Burlington, 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.
Once you have made sure that your audit is indeed real, you can do a few things to get ready for it. Most importantly, you should gather all of the documents that the auditor has asked for, as well as any additional documents and evidence that you think might help clear up any confusion about your tax return. You should bring these to the meeting with the auditor, and truthfully (to the best of your knowledge) answer all of the questions that the auditor asks.
Reasons For a Tax Audit in Burlington, Washington
There are plenty of reasons why Washington's government, or the federal government, might conduct a tax audit.
As mentioned earlier, you might get audited simply because you were chosen at random. If this is the case, and you know that your tax return was completely truthful, and have the documentation to back it up, you shouldn't have anything to worry about.
On the other hand, there are also particular reasons why the tax authorities in Burlington, Washington might want to conduct a tax audit. The most prevalent reason for a tax audit is suspicion that a taxpayer has not reported all of the income they earned in a given year. This suspicion often arises when a taxpayer buys a considerable number of expensive luxury items, but only claims a small amount of income on their tax return. Obviously, the tax man will be quite interested in learning where someone who is claiming a minimum-wage level income on their taxes got the money to buy a sports car.
It is also common to be audited in Burlington, Washington if you claim a huge number of deductions. A tax deduction is simply a legal subtraction from one's taxable income. Many different expenses, including charitable donations, interest paid on mortgages, and others, are deductible from one's taxes. If you claim so many deductions that you have negated almost all of your tax liability, you can bet that the government is going to be suspicious.
How Can A Burlington, Washington Tax Lawyer Help?
If you find yourself being audited in Burlington, Washington, and are certain that you have done everything right in preparing your taxes, then the audit will probably be over quickly, 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 probably 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.
However, there are times when an audit is conducted to investigate far more serious issues. If you find yourself facing allegations from the IRS of serious wrongdoing, and believe yourself to be innocent, you should pursue the advice of a Burlington, Washington tax attorney immediately.