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Doing your taxes should be a relatively simple process, free of too much headache. Occasionally, you will find the process gets tricky and confusing, and you may not know where to look for support. If the IRS informs you of its intent to commence an audit, you need to speak with a St. Augustine, Florida, IRS tax attorney and law firm for help.
At TaxSmith, we can help you with any federal tax issue. We’ll work with the IRS and try to settle on an outcome that works for all parties. We can help you through the audit process and get you prepared for the meeting so you can have more confidence during the audit.
At TaxSmith, we’ve seen our fair share of cases where someone is dealing with federal tax issues. Our lead attorney, Angie Smith, is ready to approach any tax case from a position of knowledge and empathy. Our entire team is ready to prepare you for what comes with the audit process, so nothing feels like a curveball.
You may receive a notice from the IRS after filing your taxes that the agency is planning to conduct an audit. This notice is scary for anyone, and without preparation, you may be in over your head.
During an audit, an IRS agent will look over your paperwork and investigate to see if everything lines up. The agent will search for any discrepancies in things you reported or claimed on your taxes. If the agent finds discrepancies, they may edit your paperwork and charge you more for your yearly tax payment.
During an audit, the IRS will likely ask you to submit several documents to prove the truthfulness of your statements. You may need to provide:
You should mail a copy of these documents to the IRS and not the originals. You may need the originals for your records down the line.
You should remember an audit is not the end of the world or a sign of guilt. The IRS conducts audits for a few reasons, and it is not just suspicion leading to an audit.
Every year, the IRS randomly selects some taxpayers to conduct an audit on. The agency has no evidence of wrongdoing in these cases, but it will look to make sure nothing is wrong with the person’s tax files.
The IRS also conducts audits for cause. An agent may notice discrepancies in a tax form and will look to gain more information. The IRS also has a policy to audit people who have had business relations with another recently-audited party.
The IRS isn’t likely to bring action against someone for an honest mistake, but a person or company attempting to commit tax evasion or fraud is another story. If the IRS concludes you committed fraud, they may move to charge you in federal court. The maximum penalties include up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
There are three typical outcomes of an audit. Either the agent signs off on your taxes and marks them as correct, the agent notices a discrepancy and makes an alteration you accept, or the agent makes a change you don’t accept. If you disagree with the changes, you can file an appeal with the IRS.
You can either file a small case request or a formal written protest, depending on the circumstances of your audit. You should speak with an attorney about your rights and chances of a successful appeal before making any decisions.
Many people handle an IRS audit or any other issue with the agency by themselves. However, having a lawyer on your team will help you through the process. Your St. Augustine attorney can help you sort through documents to make sure you include everything in an audit the IRS wants. Additionally, your attorney can assist you with the appeals process if needed. You’ll feel safer with an attorney than if you went alone.
A: If the IRS determines you owe additional taxes, your attorney may be able to negotiate with the agency to secure a settlement deal for you. You can float the idea of an offer in compromise or wage garnishments to make up for owed taxes. While negotiation is not always successful, your attorney will likely be better at the process than a layperson.
A: The sales tax in St. Augustine, Florida, is 6.5 percent when accounting for all local increases. Florida has a state sales tax of six percent. You will also find a few exceptions to the rule, like mobile home sales, payments to jukeboxes or arcade games, leasing commercial property, and electricity.
A: The IRS will try to come to a settlement they believe you can reasonably pay them. The agency will look at a person’s income and any assets they have while determining what this settlement can be. The IRS has a formula it follows when coming up with settlement amounts, so you may want to speak with an attorney to get a ballpark estimate before the negotiation process.
A: You can negotiate with the IRS if you desire, and there aren’t any laws preventing you from handling all tax and legal matters yourself. However, you open yourself up to the possibility of not knowing what a fair deal is and taking whatever offer the IRS makes. An attorney can give you a better idea of what you should expect.
At TaxSmith, we can help you with an IRS issue. Contact us today for a consultation to discuss your case and how we can help you through this turbulent time.
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