How to reduce your chances of getting a Tax Audit
One of the most dreaded notices that any taxpayer can receive from the IRS is an audit notice. Few things cause more anxiety than getting a letter notifying you that a tax audit is about to be carried out on you. An audit means that the IRS is about to dig deep into your tax history so as to look more closely into it and ascertain whether or not you have been 100% compliant.
Yearly, the number of taxpayers that get audited by the IRS increases, and there is absolutely nothing that anyone can do about it, This is because the power to call for a tax audit rests exclusively in the hands of the IRS.
Thankfully, whether you compute your taxes yourself or you employ the services of an accountant, there are a few steps you can take to lower the likelihood that the IRS will flag down your return. You don’t have to be a tax expert to protect yourself against the possibility of getting audited by the IRS.
The first thing you should know is that it is important to be prepared by having all your documents ready and being able to defend yourself fluently. There are few tips that will reduce your chances of being audited but there’s nothing wrong with being prepared, just in case you get an audit notice.
Below are a few ways to lower your chances of being audited by the IRS:
- Be wary of deductions: The IRS uses a computer program that compares your deductions with that of others within the same income bracket. This does not mean that you should not claim deductions that you are entitled to. You just need to ensure that you have the necessary documents to back them up and that you avoid miscellaneous deductions.
- Be careful about the tax preparer you choose: That a person claims they can get you the biggest refund compared to others is not the measure of their qualification. The IRS has a list of preparers that you can check. Ask for the preparer’s PTIN to confirm if they’re legit. If they do not have one or are not willing to register with the IRS and get a number, then you probably shouldn’t trust them.
- Double-check the advice any tax preparer gives you: If they’re telling you something that seems too good to be true, it just may be too good to be true. When unsure about the advice your tax preparer has given to you, call the IRS helpline and ask a few questions to see if their advice should be adhered to. You can also opt to call the IRS anonymously.
- Get a copy of your tax return: Tax preparers are required to give you a copy of your tax returns and it is required to have their signature and their PTIN on it.
- Start an LLC: If you’re a small business owner, you should consider forming a limited liability company because they are not as frequently audited as other small businesses.
- Be extremely thorough: Loopholes are invitations to the IRS for audits. Try as much as you can to file correctly the first time to avoid amendments. Amendments are likely to put the first return under scrutiny.
7. Be clear and exact and avoid leaving any grey or shady areas.
Furthermore, if your tax return already seems like it stands a great chance of being audited, try to be as clear as possible by adding explanations like receipts and worksheets where necessary. Leave no stones unturned.
Finally, understand that at the end of the day, nothing you do is an assurance that you will not get audited by the IRS. You can only try to reduce the possibility by being compliant with the payment and filing of your taxes and by adhering to the tips prescribed above.
Nevertheless, if you get an audit notice from the IRS, do not let it scare you. If you have been doing the correct things, it’ll just be a short and simple process.
Scared of an impending IRS audit? We are here to help you settle your tax problems. Call us today.
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