San Bernardino, CA IRS Tax Audit Attorney
Tax season can be enough of a burden. Having to scrutinize your own finances, knowing that they may face the scrutiny of the IRS and the stringent rules in the U.S. Tax code, is already a high-pressure task. If you have irregularities, glaring misrepresentations, or certain code violations, you may face a tax audit. The fear of an audit is itself too much pressure for many, who prefer to allow Tax Professionals like Tax Attorneys, CPAs and EAs handle their taxes for them. For others, an audit may seem like something that only happens to “other people.”
If you are facing an IRS tax audit, or believe you may soon face an audit, the first thing you should do is contact a Tax Attorney. The Tax Audit Defense Lawyers at The Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing, and our team of experienced CPAs and EAs may be able to help. If the IRS wants you to examine your books and records, ensure that you have a team of Experienced Tax Professionals on your side to guide you through the process and protect your rights wherever possible. For a reduced-rate consultation on your case, contact our law offices today at 800-681-1295 or reach us online.
When Can I be Audited in California?
The IRS’s tax rules and the U.S. Tax Code apply equally throughout the country. However, whether enforcement is specifically targeted at California or coincidentally higher, many Californians find themselves facing tax audits each year. If you are being audited, one of your first questions may be “Why me?”
There are many reasons you could be audited, but you should keep in mind that an audit does not necessarily mean you did something wrong. Like any investigation, criminal or otherwise, an audit is an attempt to gain information and decide if the rules were followed. The IRS often selects audit subjects through a somewhat random process. The IRS uses an algorithm to compare tax returns and other forms against average, “normal” returns, and may select taxpayers whose returns stray too far from this average. In other cases, you may even be audited because businesses, partners, or investors you work with have also been audited. You may also be audited because of a special enforcement program.
These IRS audits may trigger even if you have done nothing wrong. Smart use of tax deductions and credits may make you nervous that you are somehow “cheating” the IRS. Even if this kind of situation leads to an audit, you cannot be punished if you did nothing wrong.
If you did have errors in your returns, or have a trend of failing to file, failing to report foreign accounts with an FBAR, or otherwise misrepresenting important information on your returns, you may also face an audit. In these situations, your need for a Tax Attorney may be even stronger. Since the government may discover evidence of tax crimes or may find high amounts of underpayment, it is important to hire a Tax Attorney that can protect your rights during an IRS audit.
What Can I do to Fight an IRS Audit?
For some, the first response to being audited may be to step aside and let the IRS have access to whatever documents and forms they want, and to be as helpful as possible. For others, the instinct may be to shut down the IRS’ investigation, and make the audit as hard as they can for the government. Ultimately, the IRS does not want to perform audits. Audits are as much of a burden on the IRS as they are on the subject of the audit. The expensive and time-consuming process is a necessary evil for the IRS, which has no other way to ensure correct tax compliance than to launch these examinations / investigations.
Your first step in handling an IRS audit should always be to talk to an experienced Audit Defense Attorney. Even if you have nothing to hide, hiring the right Tax Attorney may be the quickest way to explain your situation to the IRS and accomplish damage control. If your taxes were filed correctly, the IRS should be satisfied by the underlying accounting and business records that your taxes were filed and correctly. Our Tax Attorneys, CPAs and EAs can help by explaining your actions and showing the IRS that you correctly followed the Tax Code or by minimizing your financial and criminal tax exposure by explaining your actions in terms of negligence where you have not.
If the IRS does uncover errors, our attorneys may be able to argue that your actions were not willful violations of the Tax Code, but rather resulted from at best negligence. In either situation, having the advice and experience of an Audit Defense Attorney on your side is an invaluable benefit during an audit. Willful violations of the tax code can result in criminal prosecution where mere negligence will only result in potential additional 20% tax penalty. This can make all the difference in your net worth and in protecting your liberty.
How Do I Appeal an IRS Audit?
If your IRS tax audit produces results with which you disagree, you may have a right to dispute, litigate or “appeal,” the findings. However, it is not in your best interests to tackle this process unassisted. Though necessary in many cases, the IRS tax audit appeals process can also be highly complex, and it is easy for taxpayers to make small errors or omissions which can quickly undermine a successful case resolution. Having the right tax audit team on your side will make all the difference in convincing the IRS that the facts and the law are on your side.
If you wish to appeal the results of an IRS tax audit, you should immediately contact a Tax Audit Appeals and Litigation Attorney in San Bernardino, who can protect your rights and file the correct paperwork and organize your documentation and evidence while successfully guiding you through the appeals process. The procedure is often initiated by submitting a “protest letter,” also called a “written protest,” setting forth the nature of, and basis for, your disagreement with the results of the audit. Be forewarned that the IRS will not accept appeals “based on moral, religious, political, constitutional, conscientious, or similar grounds” – only appeals with a financial basis supported by fact and law. Alternatively, it may be necessary to file a Tax Court petition to appeal / litigate your case. If this is done incorrectly you can lose important appeal rights or be legally prevented from raising omitted legal arguments and this should only be done by an experienced and Tax Appeals and Litigation Attorney to fully protect yourself.