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San Jose, CA IRS audit attorneyIf you have been informed that your tax returns will be examined, or audited, you may not know what to expect from the process. Often, taxpayers are upset about having to devote more time to their tax returns, and they may be worried about a larger tax liability or concerned that they will face penalties from the IRS.

All of these thoughts are well-founded. Hiring an attorney to look out for your best interests during the course of an examination is allowed under IRS rules and may help you keep your tax liability as low as possible.

How Is One Chosen for an Examination?

According to the IRS, there are two ways your tax return may be selected for an audit. The first way is by computer programs that find incorrect amounts on your returns when compared to documents like W-2s or 1099s. 

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Posted on in Tax Audits

eggshell audits, San Jose civil tax audit lawyer, tax fraud, tax audit, tax liabilitiesA tax audit can be a frightening situation. The United States tax code is complex, and many taxpayers are unfamiliar with its intricacies and the potential consequences that they may face if they have committed a violation. In some cases, taxpayers may face what is known as an “eggshell audit,” which is a civil audit that may potentially result in criminal charges. While this is an informal term, it refers to the care that must be taken in these situations as taxpayers seek to minimize their tax liabilities and civil penalties while avoiding criminal prosecution.

Potential Consequences of an Eggshell Audit

Eggshell audits occur because a taxpayer filed a fraudulent tax return. The taxpayer may have underreported the income he or she earned or claimed improper deductions or credits. The end result is that the taxpayer paid less taxes than he or she would have owed if he or she had filed an accurate tax return. Moreover, a return is considered fraudulent if a taxpayer deliberately intended to evade paying the full amount of his or her taxes or if he or she willfully submitted false statements or documents.

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San Jose tax attorney, IRS partnership audit, partnership audits, tax audits, tax lawIn recent months, much of the discussion surrounding tax laws in the United States has focused on the changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Yet while individuals and businesses should understand how they will be affected by tax reform, they should additionally be aware of recent new rules that govern tax audits.

The Centralized Partnership Audit Regime

Under the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 (TEFRA), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had certain rules for assessing and collecting taxes for partnerships. Audits of large partnerships, such as hedge funds or private equity firms, required individual audits of every partner. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (BBA) established a new, centralized audit regime, allowing the IRS to audit partnerships as a whole. This new regime will apply to partnership tax years beginning after December 31, 2017.

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tax audit, San Jose tax audit attorney, tax lawyer, tax returns, DIF systemThe prospect of being audited by the IRS is rather frightening, and many taxpayers do not know what to expect in a potential tax audit. However, only around 1 percent of people who file taxes are audited, and there is a great deal of confusion about what makes an audit likely. When filing a tax return, it is important to understand what the IRS looks for when deciding who to audit.

The DIF System

The IRS uses automated scoring known as the Discriminant Information Function (DIF) System to analyze tax returns. This system compares people’s incomes in a geographic area and looks at factors such as family size, how income is earned, and real estate property values to find any discrepancies that may require an audit. The IRS also uses an Unreported Income DIF (UIDIF) score to analyze whether a person is likely to have any income that was not reported correctly.

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sales tax audit, tax audit, San Jose sales tax audit attorney, California tax attorney, tax audit preparationWhen you learn that your business’ sales tax records are being audited, there are certain steps you can take to make the process go smoothly and to handle the tax audit properly. There will be many times during the sales tax audit process that you have questions, and it is best to seek assistance of a sales tax lawyer who can advise you of your obligations under the law as well as what options are most strategic for you and your business.

Understanding Audit Purposes

The California State Board of Equalization administers the sales tax audit. The audit’s purpose is to determine if you have paid the proper amount of sales tax.

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