What To Do if You Receive an IRS Tax Audit Notice
You checked the mail and it happened; you received the letter. The letter that no one wants. The letter that means you are going down a path many have traveled, but few have survived. The IRS tax audit. If you filed your taxes correctly and flawlessly, you will easily prove it. But if they find errors or any miscalculations, you are in for a bumpy ride. Here are a few steps you can take to quickly resolve the situation.
Ask Why. Why was your return selected for an audit? You did it correctly, what’s the deal IRS? There can be many reasons for this to happen; here’s a few:
- High deductions compared to your income, inconsistencies with reports from previous years
- If you have transactions with someone else who is also being audited, you will be flagged as well
- Computer programs that automatically flag outlier data
- Random selection
All IRS notice letters come with a notice number that will help you narrow the scope down to specific things being questioned. This way, you can pull only the necessary information for the audit.
How are you being audited?
There are different ways to get audited, believe it or not:
- A Correspondence Audit involves you providing documents such as receipts, checks, and other required material. This is just the IRS asking for more info.
- An Office Audit is where it gets a little more intense. This time you have to go to your local IRS offices and the audit is conducted there.
- If you would them to visit you personally at your office, that can be arranged with a Field Audit.
- The most expensive audit is called the Taxpayer Compliance Measurement Program Audit. In this audit, everything is looked over very closely.
It is extremely recommended to hire an IRS tax attorney to represent you.
Dealing with the IRS can be hectic and nerve-wracking, but with an experienced licensed professional on your side, you can get through the audit stress free. Our tax attorneys represent you in front of the Board of Equalization, the IRS Examination Division and Collections Division, and state income tax agencies.
Should You Hire A Lawyer During An IRS Audit?
For the most part, the IRS does a good job keeping track of millions of taxpayers income and how much taxes they should be forking over. Most IRS employees do their best to be fair and efficient. However, many people feel chills up and down the spine when the IRS is mentioned. Normal people want to file their taxes and be done with it all, and they certainly don’t want the IRS questioning their revenue stream.
The question is, if your name is pulled from the Audit Me hat, should you go ahead and call a tax attorney? Many individuals and organizations such as the Tea Party claim that they are treated very differently depending on whether they have a lawyer or not. Inappropriate questions and other sketchy things can happen from not being represented. Taxpayers always get better results from being represented by a lawyer throughout the whole process.
This does not mean that you have to contact a lawyer every time something gets mailed to your door. It all depends on the severity and complexity of the issue. You can contact a lawyer and ask for advice on whether they think you need representing. Sometimes representing yourself is the best option, but rarely.
Trying to handle a situation with the IRS by yourself can dig you a much deeper hole. If you are unsure what to do then you definitely need to contact a lawyer. They will make sure that whatever hole you’re in won’t get wider or deeper. They will get you out.
Tax Troubles – Tax Attorney or CPA?
You may not be sure what to do if you are selected for an IRS tax return audit. It’s okay because a lot of people would be stuck on the same thing. There’s nothing to worry about. Hiring a tax attorney will ensure that you are stress free while tax auditors crawl through your documents and ask hard questions. Instead of you answering those questions, your tax attorney will come to the rescue every time. Below are a few of the obvious benefits to making use of a tax attorneys services.
Some people would default immediately to a CPA to help them prepare for an audit, but a tax attorney is slightly better for certain reasons. Accountants would definitely know the tax code, but would they be able to defend you in the audit situation? Accountants count numbers all day, but they don’t represent people and argue their case for them. A tax attorney can help negotiate for you and defend you in subsequent litigation. These people are paid to interpret the law to benefit you and protect you from giving away too much of your money/property.
The terminology and jargon used during the audit process can be quite daunting, so why not have someone by your side who knows the lingo and procedures like the back of their hand? A tax attorney will be your personal interpreter, and they can tell when someone is looking a little too close at things. If the auditors are trying to charge you with something, the attorney will know right away.
If your audit goes unexpectedly, you can face fines, back taxes, and even criminal charges. Your tax attorney can help in many ways throughout the entire process. Since audits are an interpretation of events, the facts will be presented in the best possible light, so that you are treated fairly. The attorney has to follow certain rules and protocols just like any other legal proceeding. They can protect your interests in case the auditor tries to pull any misconduct. For example, if the auditor asks you any inappropriate questions, your attorney can advise you on what to say. They will also use negotiation techniques that will reduce your liability a great deal.
This is just the beginning when it comes to tax problems. You need someone experienced that has seen the process over and over again. This way, they will be able to help you get through the audit without forking over all of your time and money. Spending some money on a tax attorney can keep you out of serious trouble.
Trump’s Tax Attorney Claims the Spotlight
Donald Trump had a tax attorney in the mid-1990’s who is now trying to claim the spotlight saying that the Republican Presidential candidate had little interest in the tax code. These claims differ greatly from Trump’s Tweet saying “I know our complex tax laws better than anyone who has ever run for president and am the only one who can fix them.” James Mitnick, the tax attorney in question, claims that as far as he knows, Trump had no knowledge of taxes through late 1996. Mitnick also said in an interview with NBC TODAY that Trump wouldn’t have had the time and the patience to learn all of the tax provisions.
Who is Mitnick and what does he have to do with this? He handled all of Trumps income tax returns in 1995. Parts of these tax returns were published in the New York Times because supposedly people were very interested in how much money he made. Trump had reported a loss of $916 million! It is possible that Trump had been avoiding paying income taxes for around 18 years.
This is around the same time Trump tweeted that he knows everything there is to know about how taxes work. He has brought this up several times whilst on his campaign trail. Apparently Trump was not interested or involved in the 1995 filing. According to Mitnick, Trump was only interested in the bottom line, not the details. Mitnick claims that Ivana Trump, Donald’s wife, was more interested and asked questions about how the taxes were prepared. However, we still cannot prove what Mitnick claims because the Times reports did not expose any tax-avoidance tactics, and they all appeared to be legit. In fact, it is impossible to claim that someone had been avoiding taxes or doing anything sketchy from just one years’ worth of reports published in the Times. Mitnick confirmed this and was not pleased how the Times could come to that conclusion. He also added that himself and his accounting staff stayed well inside the law while also trying to make Trump pay the least possible tax on his income.
The Trump campaign chimed in with a statement late Saturday saying that part of Trump’s responsibilities is paying the least amount of tax possible while staying inside legal boundaries. And they also added that Trump has paid exorbitant amounts of property, real estate, city, state, employee and federal taxes. Supporters of Trump are actually saying that Trump is a genius for paying the least tax possible and would be the right man for tax reform. Of course the Clinton campaign have been trying to use the tax angle as an offensive move in debates and on the TV.
IRS Guilty of Targeting Small Businesses?
According to tax attorney and CPA Donald Williamson, the IRS focuses on small businesses for audits rather than larger companies, even though they can gain more money for the government auditing larger companies. It seems rather bizarre and random as to why the IRS does this. Williamson suggests that this is actually done on purpose because the agency believes that small businesses may not be accurately reporting income. Some small businesses operate on a cash basis, whereas a large corporation must record all its profits and losses in order to keep track of everything. This way, it is assumed that larger companies can accurately file their taxes when it comes to that time of year.
This unfair treatment puts small businesses at risk for shutting their doors permanently. Due to the time, stress and high costs of dealing with the IRS, most small businesses can’t afford hiring a tax attorney, CPA or a legal counsel to protect them. Additionally, small business owners are not knowledgeable in tax law and they can’t meet the high demands of the IRS. If they choose to pursue the outside help, any small document the IRS needs must be addressed to the tax attorney. This means that any minor review can lead to substantial costs for the small business owner.
Previous employees at IRS have addressed how the process and management of small business audits compared to large business audits shouldn’t be looked at in the same perspective. This is a conflicting issue because the two types of businesses have different needs, resources and interests. Still, the agency chooses to audit small businesses at a higher scale and this causes high costs for the small business owners. Ultimately, if the IRS continues targeting small businesses, it will hinder the business owner’s ability to effectively run their business and possibly being forced to go out of business. It is time for the IRS to open their eyes and realize that they are failing to serve the very people who have created tens of thousands of jobs for people.
What Do Tax Attorneys Do?
Tax attorneys play a crucial role in our everyday lives. Their main responsibility isn’t to just help you file your tax returns, but they can also be your advocate when you’re faced with an IRS audit or a criminal charge such as tax evasion or tax fraud.
Here are just a few ways in which a tax attorney can benefit you:
- Advise you on how to file your taxes so you can receive a big check in the mail
- File any documents the IRS demands from you
- Be your voice in court
- Save you time, money and stress
- Defend you when faced with an audit or criminal charges.
Tax attorneys have a full understanding of the law code and they have dealt with the IRS in numerous cases. They also know many employees working for the agency, so they can get results at a much faster pace than you can if you were to represent yourself. Tax lawyers are also beneficial in helping you look for different IRS documents. The procedures and policies of the IRS are difficult to understand and they are designed to be tricky. If you misunderstand something and make a mistake in filing your taxes, the IRS will be at your doorstep before you know it. Why not think ahead and avoid the hassle? Hiring a tax attorney for this reason will ensure that this agency won’t be bothering you until the next filing year.
Tax attorneys also represent small and large businesses when they are faced with an audit. As a business owner, it is highly encouraged to seek the advisement of a tax attorney in order to avoid an audit. Because businesses and taxpayers are taxed differently, it is important to understand how to file your taxes. When faced in court, the agency will ask precise questions about you and your business and if you misinterpret their question, you are in trouble! A tax attorney will have the prior knowledge as to what kind of questions to expect in court, which means they can obtain all that information and present the agency with the proof they need to liberate you. Tax attorneys have not only saved individuals and businesses an unbelievable amount of stress and money, but they also saved them from possibly going to prison.
When And Why You Should Hire An IRS Tax Attorney
You are rattled! You just filed your tax returns and had piece of mind that you could now steer clear of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for another year, but the IRS is out for your hair. What do you do? Unfortunately, if you are this person, you need to contact a tax attorney immediately. The following are some key reasons as to why you would need a tax attorney: audits, representation, missing tax returns, getting a CP notice and getting charged for a criminal offense.
If the IRS is auditing you, you need a tax attorney on your side. Dealing with the IRS can be a dreadful, time consuming and difficult task especially because they have no mercy. The job of the tax attorney is to negotiate on your behalf and make sure your rights are protected. This type of representation can save you time and anxiety. Tax attorneys know the tax laws far better and can represent you much more adequately then you can in court if you were representing yourself. Additionally, a CPA can represent you or any other legal counsel specialized in tax defense, however they are not specialized in tax law nor have they dealt with numerous amounts of cases. Each case is unique and only an experienced tax attorney can look at your case and know how to proceed to give you the best outcome.
If the IRS is criminally charging you, it is usually because they believe you are withholding income or you are being accused of tax fraud. In both cases you need to hire a tax attorney and take this situation very seriously because you can either be charged with exponentially large fines (more then you could afford) or go to prison. Another reason to hire a tax attorney over of a CPA is because a tax attorney can’t stand against you in court. They are obligated by law to protect you through attorney-client privileges, whereas a CPA or IRS legal counsel may be asked to testify against you.
The IRS may assume that you are hiding something if you neglected to file a tax return. If this is your current circumstance, you need a tax attorney to speak on your behalf and let the IRS know the reasons as to why you did not file or possibly forgot to file. This government agency may ask detailed questions and if you are not an assertive and confident person when speaking to them, you need a tax attorney to be your voice. They understand how this agency operates and they can persuade and charm them far better then anyone. Once they explain your case, the IRS can become more merciful and give you time to file your taxes.
Receiving a CP noticed in the mail usually means you owe the government money. Understanding the notice may be difficult and you never want to misunderstand a document as important as this, which is why you should consult a tax attorney. They can give you details about the balance due and if you disagree with it, they can help you contest it in court. Regardless of the circumstances of why the IRS is contacting you, you should seek the guidance of a tax attorney so you can better understand your unique situation.