Tax Audit Lawyers in Mercer Island
A "tax audit" is a procedure in Mercer 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 Mercer 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.
Once you have made sure that your audit is indeed real, you can do a few things to get prepared for it. Most especially, you should collect all of the documents that the auditor has asked for, as well as any further 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 Mercer Island, Washington
There are various different reasons why the federal government, or the tax authorities of Washington 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.
Nonetheless if the IRS or other tax agency suspects actual wrongdoing by a Mercer Island, Washington taxpayer, that's a different matter. There are various different reasons why a government might determine to audit a taxpayer. The most frequent one is suspicion that they have underreported their income. If a taxpayer buys a massive 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.
It is also typical to be audited in Mercer Island, Washington if you claim a wide number of deductions. A tax deduction is simply a legal subtraction from one's taxable income. Various 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 Mercer Island, Washington Tax Lawyer Help?
If you find yourself being audited in Mercer Island, Washington, 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.
Nonetheless, if the situation is more difficult, you may need to hire a Mercer Island, Washington tax attorney. A tax attorney can help you through your audit, and make sure it goes as smoothly as possible.