When you are notified that you have been chosen for a tax return audit, you may not be sure what to do next. How do you prepare for an intense inspection of your tax documents and ensure you can answer any questions the tax auditor may have? Hiring a tax attorney can be the best way to prepare for this in depth look at your tax situation. Here are a few benefits of having an experienced tax that understands all aspects of the tax law on your side.
Tax Attorneys Versus CPAs
Your first thought may be to hire an accountant or CPA to help you prepare for a tax return audit. While an accountant may understand the tax code, they may not be educated in defending clients in an audit situation. A tax attorney has not only the tax knowledge needed to help you prepare for the audit, they can also help negotiate on your behalf during the audit and defend you if necessary in subsequent litigation. You have someone on your side that can interpret the law in your best interest and protect your assets and freedom if there are any issues uncovered during the audit.
Knowledge of Law Terms and Procedures
One of the distressing aspects of a tax audit is feeling overwhelmed with the terminology and the procedures used. A tax attorney can be your interpreter, explaining what is needed by the auditor and the procedures that will take place. As a tax law specialist, your attorney also can detect when an auditor may be looking deeper into your tax return for possible criminal intent. This knowledge can be invaluable if the auditor is seeking to pursue a criminal charge against you.
Reducing Penalties, Tax Liability and Other Charges
If your audit is unfavorable, you could be facing payment of back taxes, penalties, interest and even criminal charges. Having a tax attorney present through the entire process can benefit your case in several ways. Often an audit is an interpretation of events. Your tax attorney can ensure that the facts are explained in the best light, and that you are fairly treated with the rules of the law. Just like any legal proceedings, there are conduct rules and protocol that must be followed by the auditor. A tax attorney can recognize any misconduct or misrepresentation by the auditor and protect your interests. If the auditor is asking you inappropriate questions, your tax attorney can advise you on how to respond and what you are legally obligated to provide.
By having a tax law specialist representing you, negotiation techniques can be used to reduce the tax liability during the process. You do not want to wait until after the auditor has made their determination to begin defending your position. Often just having a tax attorney present can show the auditor that you are serious about protecting your rights and defending the merits of your case if necessary.
Defending Your Case
Tax liability and other monetary concerns are just the tip of the ice burg when it comes to problems you may face after a tax audit. If the auditor decides there is evidence of tax you will need an experienced tax attorney to defend your case. Having a lawyer that has been there through the whole process can benefit you in your defense, possibly negotiating terms before your case makes its way to court.
At Brager Tax Law Group, our tax attorneys are experienced in representing clients that are facing an IRS or State of California tax return audit. If you have been selected to receive a tax audit, contact our team to schedule a consultation. Call our office in Los Angeles at 1.800.380.8295 or fill out our contact form online to request a Skype interview with one of our IRS tax attorneys.