Taxes are something that we all have to pay at one time or another. Knowing what to do once you or your business has been notified that they will be subject to a tax audit can help simplify the process. Tax audits are not all that uncommon, a skilled Albany tax attorney can help.
What Is a Tax Audit?
When thinking of a tax audit, it is always helpful to know what it is and the potential steps you might be going through with this process. A tax audit is a process by which the IRS or Internal Revenue Service reviews or examines the taxes that have been filed by an organization or an individual as well as their financial records to make sure that they are accurate and have been fully reported.
Generally, this type of process is only started when a person or an organization is suspected of providing false information or withholding information that would raise the amount of taxes that they owe and lower the amount of refund that they are eligible for. Audits are not totally uncommon. They can be targeted as the result of some information that was received or they can be random. If you are notified that you are part of a tax audit, it may be in your best interest to get an attorney that can help you through each step of the process.
What Are the Steps of a Tax Audit?
The first step of your audit is going to be the initial contact in which you are going to be notified that you are being audited and then further instruction about what your next steps should be. The IRS only conducts communication via certified mail, if you get a phone call, it is not from the IRS.
The next step is going to be information about what type of audit you are going to be going through. You will be either conducting the interview in an IRS field office or you will have an audit in your home with the help of an IRS agent. For those audits that are going to be conducted by mail, you will be asked to provide information about specific parts of your tax return to help clarify and support what was provided.
After you have established what sort of audit you are going to be going through, you will need to start collecting the information that has been asked for. In most cases, the IRS will tell you what information they need, what documents they want, and they will also likely pose you questions that you need to answer to help you figure out how to proceed and what you need to provide to help move the audit forward.
Some common documents that you might need to provide are things like financial statements, W-2s, 1099s, other work documents, and even things like information about investments and other sources of income that you might have. If you have deductions, you might need to provide documentation or further clarification of those deductions as well.
With a mail audit, you will need to send your responses by certified mail so that you can be certain that they have arrived. For those that are doing an audit in person, your IRS agent will tell you what they need and they will then go over it in person. The IRS generally does not go back further than three years with an audit unless there is major fraud suspected and further investigation is needed.
What Can a Lawyer Do?
The biggest help that a lawyer is going to do is help you to write your correspondence, make sure you have all the pertinent documents included, and they will also help you ensure that you have all the things that you need to have in order to have a successful audit. With the help of a lawyer, you can make sure you have all the right information, that you are in compliance with the audit, and that things are going to go smoothly.
Audits can be stressful, they can be difficult, and they can frustrate plenty of people. For many people, an audit can be so stressful that they do not know how to go about actually performing it and they are not sure where to start and what they need to do. With the help of a lawyer, you can get the process going and you can actually reduce some of the stress that you have from it.
Great lawyers can help you to figure out what you are doing, they can help you organize the information that you need, and they can help you figure out what information is going to help you and be helpful for your audit and not detrimental. Lawyers are a huge help in that they are able to organize the information that is needed so that the IRS agent can clearly see what they have been asked for and so on.
Lawyers are also going to be able to help you keep an accurate record of the interactions between you and the IRS so that you have a clear-cut record of all the information that was provided and so that you can see the process in real-time. The right lawyer is going to help take a huge amount of stress out of your day so that you can focus on other things and let the professionals take over.
When to Hire a Lawyer?
For most audits, the process is simple enough and it is also something that you are not going to have drawn out. If you are dealing with an audit and you are unaware of the process or you are at all unsure of what you should do, a great lawyer can really make a big difference.
Taking the time to contact a lawyer from the start can help you get your audit in line, can help you stop stressing, and can also help you make sure that you are following your audit as closely as you can and as accurately as possible as well. A great lawyer is going to make a huge difference in the overall way that you are going to be able to handle your audit and can also help you ensure that your audit is going to be successful from start to finish.
Audits are difficult, taking the time to really get a great lawyer can help make the process easier and can help you get your audit done and tied up so that you can get on with your life and start worrying about more important things.