Your Tax Dollars

Tax Tips

WHO IN THE HELL ARE YOU?

One nastiness you may someday have to face in life is when a man with a battered briefcase and a shapeless raincoat arrives at your door demanding you share your financial records with him. The first thing to do is ask for his card. If he is a tax auditor he will probably want to dispute all or one of your past four tax filings. He will need  to find a "bone" to go home with so try to keep it brief and send him on his way.

Don’t be Mr. Nice guy. One taxpayer invited an auditor into his kitchen for a cup of tea only to have his deduction for use of that room for business denied because  he did the auditor a personal favour rather than reserving that room for business purposes only.

If his card shows that he is an investigator then he is there to put you in jail. Interestingly if he arrived after you were audited he is already on thin ice as the information obtained from an audit cannot be used in an investigation although most investigations start with information illegally supplied by an auditor. If you can prove that the investigation was sparked by an audit odds are it will be thrown out of court and you might even as Mr. Saplys did, get a $250,000 settlement.

Remember that investigators have a set of operating instructions as to the minimum amount to be recovered and the ancillary benefits from your prosecution. Are you high profile or well known in your community? Then even if you don’t meet the minimum levels of return required (it used be $75,000 in the mid-1990’s) you could be prosecuted jut to encourage the others.

If the person at the door’s card says investigator you should say “lawyer”.

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