When you’re dealing with your taxes, it can be a real hassle. Even if you think you have everything right, you may still worry about audits or making mistakes that come back to haunt you years later.
Tax laws are the rules and procedures set by the government (local, state and federal) to calculate how much money you owe. Taxes vary. Some include:
- Property taxes
- Excise taxes
- Luxury taxes
- Estate taxes
- Income taxes
As you may be aware, the U.S. Congress and individual state legislatures do change tax laws regularly. Most people don’t keep up with those changes, which is why it’s important to work with an attorney when you are preparing for an audit or filing taxes for your business.
How often do tax laws change?
Tax laws aren’t permanent. Some have expirations. For example, a local government could set a new school tax at 2% for the next five years. Taxes may be changed yearly by the federal government or have small changes at other times. Usually, the new laws are announced with a delay, so there’s time for attorneys, accountants and others to learn more and assist with individual and business taxation.
What should you do if the Internal Revenue Service contacts you about an audit?
Don’t panic if you’re informed that you’re going to go through an audit. Audits can be a little complex and time-consuming, but with professional help, you can prepare for the tax agent in advance.
Audits are rare. In most cases, they’re done by mail, and you need to respond in a timely manner to the letter you receive. Seldom will there be a face-to-face audit. If you will have an audit interview, your attorney can help you prepare your documents for the agent.
The IRS audits tax returns in person, known as a field audit, in an IRS office or by mail. Having a licensed professional tax agent or attorney working with you is helpful if you have to go through an audit, because they are familiar with the information the the IRS wants.
In short, if you are starting a business, or even if you have complex personal taxes, you may want to consider working with professionals who are familiar with tax laws. They are helpful if there is an audit and in other tax-related situations, since they help you understand the laws that apply to your case.