What are the differences between taxes and audits?

Taxes and audits are two completely different things. Taxes are mandatory payments you make to the government for being an income-earning citizen of a civilized society. They are proportionate to the amount of income you receive throughout the year, and must be filed and payed before the April 15th deadline. Failure to do so will result in penalties, fees, and in extreme cases jail time. An audit, by definition, is an official inspection of an individual's and/or corporation's records and accounts. The goal of an audit is to see if the person/entity doesn't have any discrepancies in their records, mostly tax related. An audit is usually conducted by an independent party, and most notably are accountants. They are often conducted when the government believes you are cheating the system somehow, so they hire someone to inspect every record under scrutiny.

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