How to avoid an IRS audit

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Two weeks from today, on April 15, the Internal Revenue Service will demand its money.

Tax day is a stressful, frustrating day for most people, but this doesn’t hold a candle to those who are slowly being notified that their tax return has been selected for an IRS audit.

Here’s the good news: Statistics are rare. The number of IRS audits has dropped to just 0.38% of all returns in 2022. And the causes of these audits can be avoided if you take your time compiling your returns – even if that means you have to. extension file.

Make sure you have all your forms, especially your 1099 if you are working on the side.

And, as it turns out, don’t increase your money fraudulently. The IRS will compare the deductions you take against those of other taxpayers with similar backgrounds. If it’s messed up, it can increase your chances of getting a note.

(Most reviews are done by mail, although in-person reviews still happen.)

You’ll also want to avoid simple mistakes that could cause the IRS to audit your return. Here are the most common, according to the IRS.

Very fast writing. This goes back to the mantra of don’t rush. Wait until you’re sure you’ve received all of your tax documents before submitting.

Social Security numbers are missing or incorrect. Check this again to avoid headaches.

Misspelled names. If the information listed does not exactly match the information on your Social Security card, it may trigger an investigation.

Wrong. Be especially careful when writing the amount of wages, salaries, bank interest, and other expenses.

Typing errors. Don’t look for “head of family” if you don’t have one. Not sure if you qualify for the position? Check with an accountant.

Mathematical errors. Simple addition and subtraction may be easy for some people. Always check your math, or (even better) use a tax preparation program to do it.

Calculation of credit or deduction. Looking at things like the earned income tax credit, the child and dependent care credit, and the child tax credit can be confusing. This is another issue where tax software can help.

Incorrect bank account numbers. Also check the routing and account numbers.

Unsigned forms. If you don’t sign the return, it’s not valid. This also goes for your partner, often.

Unfamiliar tax preparers. Do not rely on someone who is not a tax professional. The IRS can help you find someone to prepare your tax return.

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