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Can you lessen the likelihood of facing a tax audit?

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With tax season rapidly coming to a close, you may still have many worries regarding your personal taxes. Any time you have to deal with the Internal Revenue Service, you may feel a twinge of anxiety, even if you feel that you have done nothing wrong. In fact, many people commonly fear that they will face a tax audit.

If you also share this fear, you may wonder what you could do to lessen the likelihood of getting a notice of an audit. Fortunately, you can take certain steps to help avoid such a situation. Additionally, even if the IRS does conduct an audit, you do not have to deal with the process alone.

Bolster your chances of avoiding an audit

It may bring you some comfort to know that the actual likelihood of coming under suspicion from the IRS is relatively low. In fact, in 2015, less than 1 percent of individual tax returns came under scrutiny from the IRS. Of course, over 1 million returns made up that percentage, so you may still fear that your information could land in that group. If so, you may want to remember these helpful tips for filing:

  • Remember to file: If you do not file a tax return for the year, you may think that the IRS would have no information on your income for that year and, therefore, have no reason to contact you. However, that is not the case. The agency has other means of gathering your information, and if you do not file, forget to file or think you do not need to, the IRS may contact you for an explanation.
  • Avoid red flags: Though you may think that itemizing your deductions could help you reduce the amount of taxes owed, you may want to avoid reporting questionable deductions. If the IRS believe that you stretched the truth on charitable donations or work-related expenses, you may face an audit.
  • Keep accuracy in mind: Because filing your taxes can seem complicated, you may worry that you will make a mistake. Unfortunately, tax mistakes do happen, and they could trigger the IRS into looking at your return more closely and seeking clarification.

Remaining honest can also help you avoid potentially appearing suspicious. Additionally, if you know you provided the correct information, you may feel more at ease in the event that an audit takes place nonetheless.

Be wary of who prepares your taxes

Even if you utilize a professional tax preparer, that individual may not always operate correctly, or he or she could make mistakes. Therefore, you may want to ensure that you choose your preparer carefully, and if any issues do arise in regard to an audit or other tax-related issue, you may also find it helpful to have professional assistance in dealing with those concerns.

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