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Avoid Being Audited

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Aug 19

According to a recent report on CBS News, the IRS looks for certain items on your tax return that can raise red flags. Financial advisor, Ray Martin, says that taxpayer audits rose 14% last year. He cautions taxpayers to watch for certain mistakes that many taxpayers make on their returns.

Whether you’re talking about your personal tax return or the return for your small business, the IRS has a specific list of areas they watch for. You can easily avoid being audited simply by following a few basic guidelines.

Make Sure your Name and Social Security Number and other Info is correct! Believe it or not, this is still the number one mistake that taxpayers make on their returns. Double check all your pertinent info.

“Married filing Separately”

Make sure to get with your spouse so that you don’t both claim the same expenses or the same dependents. The IRS compares both returns to make sure that neither person is duplicating deductions.

Unusually Large Deductions

The IRS takes a look at any unusually large charitable donations. Also, if you have donated a car to an organization, be sure to state only the fair market value of the auto. The IRS finds that many taxpayers who donate an auto overstate the value.

Business Market Segment Specialization Program

According to the IRS, there are certain fields of business, which are much more prone to tax fraud than others. The IRS is currently training agents to watch for irregularities in the returns of:

  • Auto Repair Shop
  • Attorney
  • Child Care Giver
  • Restaurant Worker

If you are employed in one of the above professions, you are at higher risk to be audited.

One of the best safeguards against being audited is to hire a professional CPA to handle all your business finances. A small business accountant from PASBA will understand tax laws and know the areas where you need to use caution.

Most small business owners know that keeping good records is important. Sometimes they simply don’t know where to hire a professional bookkeeper. They try to do it themselves and end up making a lot of costly errors that can instigate an IRS audit. By that time, it can be quite expensive to hire a qualified small business bookkeeper to help you get your records in order.

The wise business professional will start out with a qualified bookkeeper services on staff and PASBA can help you locate and hire someone to handle your tax return as well as your day-to-day bookkeeping and accounting chores. Having an expert on staff to handle your small business accounting can relieve much of the pressure of being a business owner.

PASBA member accountants bring the collective resources of a nationwide network of Certified Public Accountants, Public Accountants,  Enrolled Agents and other practitioners available to answer your tax and financial questions and streamline your business accounting, bookkeeping, and payroll operations. To find a trusted accountant in your area, visit www.SmallBizAccountants.com.

Please be advised that, based on current IRS rules and standards, any advice contained herein is not intended to be used, nor can it be used, for the avoidance of any tax penalty that the IRS may assess related to this matter. Any information contained in this article, whether viewed or subsequently printed, cannot be relied upon as qualified tax and accounting advice.  Any information contained in this article does not fall under the guidelines of IRS Circular 230.

Copyright Information 2011 Professional Association of Small Business Accountants

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