The process of complying with federal tax laws is primarily left up to the individual or business. Taxpayers have the obligation to properly report all required income and financial assets to the IRS. Failing to do so could lead to penalties and in certain cases might leave you open to a criminal investigation.
If the IRS has any reason to suspect that you might have failed to pay your taxes or report on overseas financial assets, they can conduct an audit to ensure you have fully reported and paid what the law requires. A skilled tax lawyer could assist you if this occurs. Let a Bethesda IRS audit and appeals lawyer examine your risk of exposure and help you carefully navigate this delicate “eggshell” situation.
There are numerous reasons why the IRS might initiate an audit. Audits can result from a fraud investigation, but they are also frequently triggered by simple math errors, computer-generated selection criteria, or selected randomly. A Bethesda audit and appeals attorney could advise on how to respond to any inquiries the agency makes.
Individuals and businesses with an income that is much higher than average will be more likely to be the target of an audit by the IRS. The agency is interested in these taxpayers because they represent a significant portion of the tax base, and the IRS wants to make sure that all income and assets are accounted for.
A common IRS issue is the failure to report worldwide income or foreign financial assets. These failures could be accidental or they could result from a concerted effort to evade tax liability. A taxpayer who has foreign financial assets that they failed to report should contact a lawyer to learn how they can disclose this information before an audit begins.
There are major tax deductions that come with charitable contributions. However, large donations can also catch the attention of the IRS. Problems can arise when a taxpayer lacks the documentation of their contribution.
Before the audit begins, the IRS must notify the taxpayer. This is true regardless of the factors that led the IRS to initiate an audit. These notifications are always provided in writing and sent through the mail.
An audit notification will include a contact point for more information. This contact is typically someone with the local IRS office. Audit notices usually request additional documentation from taxpayers as well. At this point, an audit and appeals lawyer in Bethesda could work with the taxpayer to provide all necessary documents that will satisfy the IRS, whether they continue the audit through written correspondence or decide to conduct one in person.
The results of an audit can be wide-ranging. In some cases, the IRS will accept that there was no impropriety and close the case. Unfortunately, that is not always what occurs. The audit may reveal underreported income or overreported expenses, which, depending on the severity, can result in penalties and interest with the extreme being a criminal investigation. If the taxpayer disagrees with the outcome of the audit, they have the right to seek an appeal.
The IRS oversees appeals as well as initial audits. However, there is a separate and independent Office of Appeals. That means the case will not be heard by the same officers that conducted the audit.
There are a few ways that an appeal will get resolved. In some cases, taxpayers will secure an appeal hearing, offer new evidence, and get the decision reversed in all, or in part. In other cases, Appeals might uphold the original IRS findings but the IRS may agree to a collection alternative such as an installment agreement. A lawyer in Bethesda could assist a taxpayer in pushing for the best outcome possible.
Tax audits can be a stressful situation, especially if there is criminal exposure. With the right legal counsel, it could be possible to appeal your case and resolve any issues. Do not interact with the IRS alone. Reach out to a Bethesda IRS audit and appeals lawyer right away.