Each year you file your taxes and you pay just what you owe and you go on with your life. The next year you repeat the process and again and again. Each year the government takes your money, cashes your check, and waits for the next year. But, for a number of people each year, the government decides to take a second look. They decide to look at all of those numbers on the tax documents that you filed and see if they really match up to all of your other records. It’s a hassle that no one wants to deal with and it’s called an audit.
When the government decides to audit you, they will give you a phone call to let you know or they will send you an ATO audit letter letting you know. No matter what, you’re going to be notified that the process is happening. You’ll also likely be asked a lot of questions. These questions are designed to get to the bottom of the situation as quickly as possible. Of course, the audit isn’t going to be cancelled or completed solely based on your answers to a few questions, but the answers you give are going to be used by the auditor in determining whether you filled out your taxes properly and whether you’re paying enough.
Know the Answers
The most important thing to remember is that you need to know the answers to every question before you answer. You are not required to give an answer if you don’t know it. You can let the auditor know that you aren’t sure and you would have to check. If you give a guess or an estimation, however, it can be very bad if you happen to be wrong. That’s why letting them know that you aren’t sure is the better response. Once you know what information they are looking for, however, it’s important to compile the information together so you are prepared. You may be asked to supply information relating to your tax documents, such as receipts or invoices.
Gather everything together and make sure you have it available to you in case you get further questions. If you’re not sure what you should be doing or how to answer any of the questions you’re asked, you can also contact a professional. Talking with a legal professional or a tax professional can help you through the process of being audited even better. They know how to answer all the questions. They know the information you need to get together and they know more about the way the process works. That means they can answer a lot of your questions as well.
Getting on with it
Once the audit process starts, there’s nothing you can really do until a decision is reached. You provide information to the auditor and sit back and wait until they come to a verdict. Once that happens, you’ll have options to accept the decision or to object, but for now, you just have to be patient.