3 Things That Trigger IRS AuditsBrittany Bagley
What does it mean to be audited and why should an individual need to understand this?
The chances that you are audited by the IRS are less than 1% and are typically a minimally intrusive process. Usually when you have been sent an official notice of audit it is because they want supporting documents for things that you have claimed on your filed return.
The IRS wants these documents in order to prove that what you have claimed on your tax return is indeed accurate. One of the most common reasons for an audit is a mismatch of information: The IRS has different records on file than what you have reported.
If you are audited, the key is to remember to be proactive. Provide the IRS with all the documents that they have requested and be conscious of your deadlines. Audits can occur in various ways through online, phone or paper mail correspondence, face-to-face, or in the field. A face-to-face or in the field audits occurs when a tax examiner comes to your place of business or home to conduct the audit.
Here are some common things that trigger IRS audits:
- Reporting the wrong taxable income.
The IRS has copies of all the income statements that you would have received and should have reported. If your return is missing income then they will want to know why you did not report that income.
- Large amounts of charitable donations that don’t match the amount of income that you have.
If you have low income but have a very high amount in charitable donations, that sends a red flag to the IRS. They will ask for documents that show you really made these charitable donations.
- Claiming expensive dinners for business purposes.
The IRS is very strict on this rule. If they notice you taking this expense often and it’s expensive, then you must be prepared to show them why.
You can decrease the discomfort of an IRS audit by making sure you have accurate numbers and supportive documents when you file taxes. Keep your business and personal finances organized and separate. Then, if an audit ever comes your way, you have nothing to worry about.
Written by Hanna Oberhansley
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