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The day has come. You’ve been informed that you’re being audited by the IRS. This is a day that no one, even the most careful of taxpayers, looks forward to. It means that you’re going to have to collect documents, talk to auditors, and take time away from your daily life to deal with the audit. Even for those people who have kept meticulous records and know that they’re not guilty of any type of tax crime will dread the audit. Feelings of anger, sadness, and dread might play a part in the audit process itself, especially if the taxpayer knows that there are discrepancies there.
Understanding the Audit Process
Step one is the notice you’re going to receive in the mail informing you that the IRS needs additional information about your tax return/s. They will explicitly tell you about what they need information on. It might be your claimed contributions to charity. It might be about deductions you claimed. Whatever they need information about, they’ll send you a letter through the mail knowing that they need more information and they will straightforwardly tell you what to send back to them. Usually it’s documentation proving that what you claimed on your taxes is what you actually spent money on.
Step one is the easy part if you’ve only claimed things that you can show documentation for. If you claimed you bought a desk, you can photocopy the receipt, send it back in, and wait for the IRS response. If the IRS gets this information in a timely manner and it’s legitimate, you might be off the hook at this point. Rarely will they go beyond this point if everything seems legitimate in the documents you mail back to them.
The next thing you can do to fend off additional unwanted attention is to simply PAY for the portion you claimed that you can’t provide records for. Sometimes the IRS will conclude things if you repay the amount you just don’t have records for. At this point, the audit will end completely and you’re done. Unfortunately, if the amount was a large one and you simply don’t have the money to repay, things become a lot more stressful and this is where you’re going to need to hire a lawyer.
Hiring a lawyer
Audits are one of those things in life where you’re going to need a lawyer unless you can immediately send the IRS the documents they’re requesting with no troubles OR you can repay the amount that you couldn’t find documentation for. When there’s a large amount you have to repay, everything gets scary, and that’s understandable. No one wants trouble with the IRS and it can be frightening to not know what to do if you can’t find your records or simply didn’t bother to keep good records because you took your chances on never getting audited.
All is not hopeless. When you hire a lawyer, you have an invaluable professional on your team who can direct you in all the next steps to take. If the IRS decides to file charges on any type of tax fraud stemming from your audit, you’ll go into battle with a veteran lawyer by your side who is ready to help you weather the storm. Tax lawyers are very understanding people and they know the stress their clients are under to provide documents and/or money back to the IRS to prevent further investigation. They have flexible payment plans that can help you fend off prosecution or if you’re prosecuted, they can help you weather the storm and get the best possible outcome for your scenario.
The IRS is much more flexible than people think as well. They are more than willing to negotiate with taxpayers to come up with payable payment plans. If you’re charged with crimes by the IRS, there’s no choice but to hire a lawyer. You must. These types of charges can come with hefty fines and prison time. There’s no excuse to delay calling a lawyer about a tax evasion or tax fraud charge. If you don’t, you’re playing with fire and facing potential prison time. The IRS has good lawyers on its side. Make sure they’re on your side, too.
How to Handle an Allegation of Tax Evasion from the IRS
A person or company can be guilty of tax evasion if they attempt to avoid paying the total amount of taxes they owe the government. This could involve not reporting all income, failing to file tax returns by the due date, misrepresentation of tax deductions, inflating or falsely claiming donations to charity, underreporting the value of an estate as well as paying employees in cash to avoid paying payroll taxes and more. The penalties associated with tax evasion can be severe.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) estimates that three percent of individuals in the United States do not file any type of tax return. A person who does this can be given both civil and criminal penalties. It is often determined by the amount of tax a person owes the government. Should a person not owe any taxes, the penalties for not filing a tax return are not serious. Should a person not file a tax return in a year where they owed taxes, and especially if they owed significant taxes, they could be charged with a criminal act. Each year a person or company does not file a return when they are legally required, they could experience a fine of as much as $25,000 and incarceration for up to twelve months. Should the IRS be able to prove a person or business intentionally did not file a return to evade taxation; they can be charged with committing a felony. If the IRS can prove these charges, a conviction could involve as much as $100,00 and up to five years in prison.
Avoiding Penalties For Tax Evasion
The punishments the IRS can give are meant to deter companies and individuals from committing tax evasion. When it has been proven someone has committed this type of tax crime, they may be given a chance to avoid the most serious penalties. This could simply involve filing a late or amended tax return. The IRS has a history of being lenient toward people and companies who file a late or amended tax return on their own. Should the IRS be forced to compel a person or company to file these types of returns, they could be given any or all the penalties associated with committing tax evasion.
A person or company will be notified by the IRS if they are suspected of committing tax evasion. They will be contacted by letter, telephone call or a personal visit. In some situations, an IRS agent can give penalties right way or notify the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) of the IRS to immediately start an investigation. The CID knows how to perform a thorough tax investigation. It has the legal authority to contact a person’s friends, neighbors, employers, coworkers as well as spouse and more concerning the alleged tax evasion. They can also legally tap a phone to track money going to an offshore account. Their goal will always be to prove a person or company had more income than was declared and they knowingly tried to evade paying their tax obligation on it.
When the IRS suspects a company or individual of committing tax evasion, they will carry out an investigation to identify if the allegations are valid. They will try and determine the correctness of any tax return that has been submitted to them. They will obtain any and all tax returns associated with the person or company. Once a person has been contacted by the IRS, they may be asked to provide records, books, papers and other documentation that could prove the tax return they submitted is correct. The IRS does not have the legal authority to prosecute crimes. It can only give monetary penalties and demand a person or company pay their tax obligation. This IRS annually performs random audits to determine rates of noncompliance.
The best way for a person or company to avoid punishment for tax evasion is by coming forward and admitting their mistake to the IRS. They can them willfully provide amended tax returns. This will assure them the IRS won’t try and build a case for criminal charges. When this is done, the fines are often lower. Should someone be in a very difficult situation, they may need the help of an experienced tax attorney to obtain the best possible outcome.
A tax audit is an examination of your tax return by a tax agency to determine the accuracy and validity of your claims. The agency will check the returns against your other financial records or statements to ensure you have paid the correct amount of tax. It is the government’s way of ensuring that taxpayers are complying with their tax obligations and paying the right amount of tax.
What is the process?
You will receive a letter in the mail notifying you of the audit. The letter will also include a date, time and location that you should attend.
You must send all documents requested by the auditor, including but not limited to bank statements, income statements, employment details, business records and receipts.
You will be asked to explain any unusual expenses or claims.
You are required to attend the audit, so you will need to take enough time off work to attend.
If the auditor finds an error, they will send you a letter. This letter will tell you what the error is and how much money you owe.
You will then have to pay the money owed, and you will receive a notice of assessment.
What are the consequences of an audit?
If you are found to have underpaid your tax, you will have to pay the additional tax due plus interest. If you are found to have overpaid your tax, you will have to wait until the next tax year to receive a tax refund.
If you are found to have underpaid your tax and do not pay the additional tax, you may be charged with tax evasion. You will find that you will have a much harder time claiming a tax deduction or a tax credit in future years.
Can I avoid a tax audit?
You cannot avoid a tax audit. A tax audit is required by law, so even if you are confident that you have paid the correct amount of tax, you will be subject to a tax audit. In some cases, a tax audit can be a good thing, as it allows the tax agency to check that you are paying the correct amount of tax.
If you think that you may be audited, you should contact one of our tax experts to discuss how best to prepare for an audit. You may also want to read our article on how to prepare for a tax audit to learn how to prepare for the audit.
If you have been audited and you want to appeal the decision made by the auditor, you should seek legal advice.
What is the statute of limitations on IRS tax audits?
The statute of limitations for the IRS to audit a tax return is three years. This means that the IRS generally has three years from the date you filed your return to audit you.
But the three-year statute of limitations can be extended. For instance, the IRS can audit a return for six years if you omit more than 25% of your gross income. The IRS can audit a return for six years if you omit more than $5,000 of income, or if you claim a refund that you’re not entitled to. The IRS can audit a return for six years if you claim the Earned Income Tax Credit without filing Form 8862, which is used to reconcile the EITC with any qualifying child tax credits.
The IRS can audit a return for six years if you fail to report your name, address, or TIN on a return or statement. The IRS can audit a return for six years if you claim a business credit or deduction for which you did not qualify. The IRS can audit a return for six years if you claim a refund using an ITIN that was either false or that you knew was false.
In any of these situations, the statute of limitations can be extended to six years. In addition, the IRS can audit a return for six years if you’re a “substantial omissions” to a return. You’re considered a “substantial omission” if you fail to report income that is more than 25% of the gross income you reported on your return. If you’re a “substantial omission,” the statute of limitations can be extended to six years.
How will the IRS audit my tax return?
The IRS will audit most tax returns either through correspondence or an in-person audit.
If you’re being audited through correspondence, the IRS will mail you a letter telling you that you’ve been selected for an audit. The letter will tell you when you need to respond and what records you should include with your response.
And if you’re being audited in-person, the IRS will send an agent to your home or business to discuss your return.
What happens if I ignore an IRS notice of audit?
If you choose to ignore an IRS notice of audit, the IRS can take several different actions.
First, the IRS can choose to audit you in-person. That means an IRS agent will come to your home or business to discuss your return.
But if the IRS can’t find you, or if you refuse to meet with them, the IRS can audit you through correspondence. That means the IRS will mail you letters asking for more information.
If you refuse to respond to the IRS letters, the IRS can assess tax and penalties based on the information on your return.
If you still refuse to respond to the IRS, the IRS can take even further action. The IRS can bring a civil suit in court to force you to appear. If you refuse to appear in court, the IRS can ask the court to issue a bench warrant for your arrest.
If you still refuse to respond, the court will issue a bench warrant for your arrest.
But if you do respond, the IRS can still pursue you. If you’re being audited in-person, you’ll have a chance to explain any tax issues. If you’re being audited by correspondence, you can explain your side of the story in the response to the IRS letter.
But if you’ve made a mistake, you should respond to the IRS.
How will the IRS handle my audit?
If you’re being audited in-person, the IRS agent will typically ask you to provide supporting documentation to support the numbers and deductions on your tax return.
For instance, if you claimed a deduction for a home office, you’ll have to provide evidence that you had a home office. That could include photographs of your home office, a description of the space, and the square footage of the space. You’ll also have to provide documentation of all your expenses related to the home office, such as utilities and property taxes.
If you’re being audited in-person, the IRS agent will ask you to explain how you reached the numbers on your tax return. If you’re audited by correspondence, the IRS will ask you to provide additional information in your response to the letter.
What happens if I’m audited by the IRS?
If you are audited by the IRS, you should cooperate. If you’re audited in-person, you’ll have a chance to explain and support the numbers on your tax return. If you’re audited by correspondence, you can explain your side of the story in your response letter.
If you have a good explanation for the numbers on your tax return, the IRS auditor will usually accept your explanation.
But if the IRS auditor has a problem with the numbers on your tax return, they can adjust your numbers. They can also increase your tax liability and penalties.
How can I avoid a tax audit?
There are several ways you can avoid a tax audit.
First, you can file a complete and accurate tax return.
Second, you can file your tax return on time.
Third, you can make sure you report all of your income.
Fourth, you can make sure you’re eligible for the tax breaks you claim.
Fifth, you can make sure you don’t claim a refund or credit that you’re not entitled to.
Sixth, you can make sure you don’t claim any deductions or credits that you’re not entitled to.
Seventh, you can make sure you don’t claim a deduction for which you’re not eligible.
Eighth, you can make sure you don’t over-report your deductions
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