Tax Audit Lawyers in Seattle
A "tax audit" is a procedure in Seattle, 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 Seattle, 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 vitally, 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 Seattle, Washington
There are several different reasons why the federal government, or the tax authorities of Washington might decide that a tax audit is warranted in your case.
A taxpayer can be chosen for an audit at random, even if the tax authorities don't suspect any wrongdoing. The idea behind these random audits is to keep taxpayers on their toes. So, if you are audited for this reason, and know that you've done everything properly in filing your taxes, you will probably be fine.
On the other hand, some taxpayers in Seattle, Washington are audited for a certain reason, rather than being drawn at random. If the tax authorities believe that you have underreported your income, that is a very recognized reason for a tax audit. For instance, if you claim on your tax return that you make ,000 per year, and, in the same year, purchase an expensive luxury item, the tax authorities will wonder where you got that extra money, and why you're not paying taxes on it.
Claiming an unusually-high number of deductions is another frequent reason for tax audits in Seattle, Washington. A tax deduction is some expenditure that you can subtract from your taxable income, thereby reducing your tax liability. If you claim such a massive number of deductions that your tax liability has been reduced to almost nothing, the IRS will probably want to make sure that all of these deductions are valid.
How Can A Seattle, Washington Tax Lawyer Help?
If you find yourself on the business end of a tax audit in Seattle, Washington, and you are sure that you have reported all of your income, and not claimed any invalid deductions, chances are you were just chosen at random for an audit, and you probably don't have any cause for concern, other than the inconvenience that an audit represents. If you are found to owe any back taxes, and your failure to pay in the past was the result of an honest mistake, you'll likely be afforded a chance to pay any taxes you owe from past years, with the possible addition of interest.
But, in more difficult cases, chances are you would be well-served by a tax lawyer in Seattle, Washington, to ensure that your tax audit goes smoothly.