Updated July 15, 2015
Automotive Income Tax Audit
Income tax audits in the auto body industry of Chicagoland
It seems as if Federal and State Automotive Income Tax Audits of professionals involved in the Auto Body Shop Industry are on the rise.
Numbers published by the Internal Revenue Service, showing the results of their enforcement activities, prove that not only the number of audits performed nationally but also the amount of money received by the IRS as a result of the audits have increased substantially in the past five years. We feel that this trend will continue to increase in the coming years due to the record deficits being generated by our federal and state governments.
Please remember that the main functions of the Internal Revenue Service and the Illinois Department of Revenue are to collect taxes. They do this through enforcing the laws passed by Congress and the State of Illinois. If you are currently involved in an audit, the best thing that you can do is to get adequate representation. The job of The IRS and The IDOR is to enforce the law, and to collect as much tax as is legally allowable by law. They are very good at their job. Representing yourself in an Income Tax Audit simply makes it much easier for them to collect.
If you own a body shop in Chicago, then there are many things to be concerned about in an Income Tax Audit. Probably the largest concern is the possibility of a charge of Tax Evasion. If it can be proven that your business took in more money than was reported on your income tax return, then there is the possibility of both criminal and civil penalties. In other words there is the possibility that you will not only have to pay additional tax, interest and penalty, but also that you will go to jail. Representing yourself substantially increases your risks.
Another common mistake is simply not knowing what you are doing. Just because you think that you should get a deduction for something does not mean that it is legal for you to do so. No one with half of a brain cell has ever said that tax law was fair. It isn’t. It is neither reasonable nor easy to understand. I just saw the results of an examination where the taxpayer tried to write off mileage for travel to and from his place of business. Uncle Sam does not give anyone a deduction for going to work. Its simply not deductible. In the taxpayers mind, it was an ordinary and necessary business expense that should have been deductible. He didn’t even have a mileage log. We see this sort of thing every day on examinations that we don’t handle.
If you are involved in the Auto Body Shop Industry of Chicagoland, and you are going through an Automotive Tax Audit, seek competent representation immediately. Call our offices today.
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Chris Amundson is the President of Accounting Solutions Ltd., a full service public accounting firm of Certified Public Accountants and Enrolled Agents handling the bookkeeping, accounting, tax preparation, and audit representation needs of Businesses, Estates, Trusts, and Upper Income Individuals.