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3 actions to avoid in hopes of preventing an IRS audit

Whether you have already filed or can feel the heat of the tax season deadline quickly approaching, you may have apprehensions regarding your tax return. Though some relief comes from completing the filing process, you may still worry that the Internal Revenue Service could contact you about an issue with your return or to conduct an audit.

Most California tax payers worry about the potential for an IRS audit. After all, dealing with taxes can be a complicated and stressful affair, and a simple mistake could easily throw your entire return off balance. Fortunately, the likelihood of facing an audit remains relatively low. Still, you could take steps to help yourself avoid an audit.

Avoid mistakes

As mentioned, a simple mistake could have a major impact on whether the IRS accepts your tax return. If you have completed your tax forms on your own, you may want to ensure that you have not made any mathematical errors, left out any information or filled out the forms incorrectly. Also, if you fill out your forms by hand, you will need to make sure your handwriting is easily legible. If an IRS agent cannot clearly read your writing, your forms may not go through smoothly.

Avoid raising red flags

Certain actions could also cause the IRS to look more closely at your return. If you report that you made substantial charitable donations or have a high number of itemized deductions, agents may want to review your records thoroughly to ensure that those numbers are correct. Additionally, remaining as honest as possible on your forms could also help avoid red flags or land you in a position where you need to provide evidence of claims that were not entirely truthful.

Avoid dishonest tax preparers

If you do choose to utilize a professional in order to complete your taxes, ensure that the individual follows the letter of the law when completing your forms. Some parties may attempt to stretch the truth in order to get you a higher refund or to lower your owed amount, but even when a professional carries out these actions, you could end up facing an audit for his or her mistakes or dishonesty.

If you would like to ensure that your taxes are prepared correctly, you may want to consider utilizing a tax attorney. This professional remains on top of current tax law and could also help you navigate the process associated with an audit in the event that the IRS wants to take a closer look at your return.

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