Tax Audits and ExaminationsWhen faced with an audit, individuals are often tempted to agree to whatever the IRS asks, usually to make the situation disappear. This will rarely work out in the taxpayer’s favor.
When you receive notification of an audit from the IRS, your first instinct may be to panic. An audit is a frightening situation; if it does not go in your favor, you could be facing tax penalties, interest payments, and criminal charges. The thought of it can cause many sleepless nights. That’s where an IRS tax attorney can help.
When faced with an audit, individuals are often tempted to agree to whatever the IRS asks, usually to make the situation disappear. This will rarely work out in the taxpayer’s favor.
Individuals should first consult with a tax audit lawyer. A skilled IRS tax attorney specializing in audits provides advice to taxpayers regarding their rights, ensuring the IRS does not take advantage of fear and lack of knowledge about the intricacies of federal tax laws.
IRS tax audit attorneys will study the financial and tax situation of their clients and utilize it to create a defense strategy. The defense in use should be different for an individual taxpayer versus a business taxpayer, for example.
The goal of any IRS tax attorney is to take the facts in the audit case and present them in a way that makes the most sense for a particular defense. The audit lawyer will try to lower the amount of tax owed, as well as interest on back taxes and any penalties and fees associated with the case.
You can be certain the IRS will be aggressively pursuing a conviction in your case, spending plenty of time and resources to garner the full judgment against you. You need to prepare your defense with the same vigor and urgency. An experienced tax audit lawyer knows how the IRS attacks in cases like this, leading to the creation of a more effective defense strategy.
If the IRS is seeking criminal charges against you and accusing you of deliberately evading your tax liabilities, you will want an IRS tax attorney on your side. If you instead rely on a CPA to defend you in an audit, you will not receive the full level of defense you need in a criminal case.
For help with any tax situation, from tax planning to crafting an IRS audit defense, contact the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing to schedule a 10-minute call with an experienced IRS tax attorney. We are a team of tax attorneys and CPAs, which gives us full knowledge of all tax laws and tax situations. Let us provide the legal and financial guidance you need, whether you are an independent taxpayer or a business.
Why Hire a Tax Attorney for a Tax Return Audit?
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 protocols 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 iceberg 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.
California Tax Law Specialist
Partner Christina Weed has years of experience helping businesses and individuals with their complex California tax litigation issues. She is a licensed attorney with an LL.M. in Taxation from the University of San Diego and a Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy. She serves as Chair of the Tax Section of the Contra Costa County Bar Association and is also a member of the Estate Planning Council Diablo Valley and the Tri-Valley Estate Planning Council.
In 2018, Christina became one of the first lawyers to argue a case in front of California’s Office of Tax Appeals.
Christina has been designated a Certified Specialist in Taxation by the State Bar of California.