For businesses, correct and timely filing of taxes is an important, ongoing task. Different businesses are, of course, taxed different ways, and it important for every business to establish policies and procedures for documenting tax-related matters and for correctly completing filings on time.
Tax issues can come up with any businesses, and can involve not only the tax obligations of the business itself, but also of the individual owners. When mistakes are made, tax authorities will initiate an audit, which may lead to further investigation, particularly if the case is referred for criminal prosecution.
Regardless of the facts of the case, it is important for corporations under IRS audit to work with an experienced attorney to navigate the process. One of the reasons for this is that the documentation and explanations provided to examiners in a tax audit form the basis for any penalties that are eventually imposed, whether civil or criminal.
Even in cases where it is not possible for a corporation to provide satisfactory explanations for discrepancies in tax returns, carefully working through documentation and communicating with the tax examiner can help ensure that any penalties issued for discrepancies are minimized. Working with an experienced attorney in the audit process can also ensure that if a corporation disagrees with the results of an audit, they have guidance and advocacy in filing an appeal
If it is determined as a result of an audit that a corporation or its senior executives were aware of false information in filing tax returns, this can result in referral for criminal prosecution. Carefully navigating the audit process, though, helps ensure that the corporation is best situated to minimize any criminal penalties that may come in the case.