Palmdale is one of the largest cities in the Antelope Valley and Mojave Desert regions of California. The city sits along the San Gabriel mountain range. Palmdale is a twin city with its neighbor to the north Lancaster. While at one point, agriculture was the main industry for the area, the post-World War II boom brought numerous industries and opportunities into the area. Today, the aerospace industry in one of the chief employers for Palmdale residents. In fact, Lockheed Martin and Northrup Grumman are the two largest employers in the city.
Palmdale is also extremely noteworthy due to its incredibly rapid population growth. In 1980, Palmdale’s population was a mere 12,227. By 1990, the population had skyrocketed to more than 68,000. By the time of the 2010 census the population had exceeded 150,000. During this time, Palmdale has become the retail and commercial center of the High Desert in California.
What is the Risk of a Tax Audit in Palmdale?
However, residents of Palmdale may also face an increased risk for a tax audit by the IRS. A 2013 study conducted by the National Taxpayer Advocate uncovered the presence of clusters of tax enforcement in prosperous neighborhoods and enclaves outside of major metro areas like Los Angeles. While the study may reflect nothing more than the IRS seeking to maximize its return on audits, a prudent taxpayer living in or near one of these areas would be wise to take proactive steps to prepare for a potential audit. Owners of small businesses and others with significantly more complex tax obligations, would be wise to seek a tax professional for a compliance review.
Are There Common Reasons Behind a Tax Audit?
For people who report all their sources of income, disclose foreign accounts and who generally comply with all aspects of the tax law, there is little reason to fear an audit. However, the process itself can be intimidating and can be fraught with danger if you cannot produce records or if you may act erratically under circumstances of this type. While taxpayers who believe they are complaint should not panic, it is always wise to seek the advice and guidance of a tax professional.
However for taxpayers who may have made common errors or mistakes, your risk for audit may be significantly greater. For instance taxpayers who only use whole numbers to simplify the math are at risk of an audit. Likewise, taxpayers who round their numbers or simply “ballpark it” are also at greater risk of facing a tax audit. These individuals are likely to trigger conflicts and red flags in the IRS’ computer system because it will be unclear where these new numbers came from and the tax filing would be considered inaccurate.
Similarly, taxpayers who fail to disclose all sources of income – whether as an employee or contractor – also face an increased risk of detection and audit. This is because aside from matching information, the IRS also engages in form matching. Stated differently, when your employer sends a W2 or 1099 he or she will also send a copy to the IRS. If you fail to return the matching form to the IRS, it is quite clear that you have failed to pay tax on taxable income. Likewise, if the employee returns the form but the employer fails to, the employee may end up facing an audit due to the noncompliance of the employer.
Tax Lawyer Serving Palmdale and Beyond
The Hoffman Law Offices are committed to assisting taxpayers and businesses facing an IRS tax audit. While the potential allegations can include failure to file, failure to pay taxes, offshore reporting failures, payroll tax issues and many other tax problems, the Hoffman Law Offices may be able to help. We are dedicated to assessing your situation and formulating a tax strategy that is likely to reduce or eliminate the consequences you face. To schedule a free and confidential tax consultation at the Hoffman Law Firm call us at 800-897-3915 or contact us online.