What can Trigger a Tax Audit?


A lot of people are curious to know who the IRS audits.  Audit activities are likely to increase as the IRS continues to utilize enforcement to provide revenue.  At Lefstein-Suchoff CPA and Associates we have years of experience defending taxpayers in their audits.

For your information, we have put together a list of some of the most common ways to bring your personal return to the attention of the Internal Revenue Service, there for increasing your risk for an audit.

  • Incomplete or messy returns — Math errors and missing information raise a red flag, as you’d expect. If the IRS’s computer can’t make sense of what you’ve filed, a human has to check to find the mistake. This is one reason to file electronically: computers help to catch silly errors.
  • Unreported income — This is a given. If you file a return but fail to report income received, you’re heading for trouble. All of your interest, dividends, and miscellaneous income needs to be reported. It is important to remember that everyone who sends you a 1099 is also sending one to the IRS.
  • Suspiciously low income — If you’re making much less than others in the same field, it may lead to taking a further look at your return.
  • Having a high income — Though fewer than one-percent of taxpayers are audited each year, those making over $100,000 are five times more likely to come under scrutiny.
  • Major changes in income — Unexplained fluctuations in income can indicate that something was under-reported somewhere. Most people don’t have income that swings wildly up-and-down, and the IRS knows it.
  • Perfectly round numbers — It’s unlikely that your investment returns were exactly $1000, or that your mortgage interest deduction was $15,000. Too many round numbers on a return are a symptom that something suspicious may be going on.
  • Too many charitable contributions — Charity is good, but too much charity can draw attention to your return. If the average person in your income bracket donates about $1000 to charity and you claim you donated $5000, you’re going to increase the odds of an audit. Make sure you save your receipts!
  • Participating in tax scams — The IRS is trained to deal with common evasion attempts.
  • High itemized deductions — Anything too far from the averages is likely to bring your return more attention. There’s nothing wrong with claiming all of the deductions to which you are entitled, but be aware that if you have a lot of itemizations, you’re more likely to be audited.
  • Discrepancy between State and Federal returns — This is another example of how sloppiness can hurt you. It sounds simple, but be sure that your information matches on both your state and Federal returns.

At our firm, Lefstein-Suchoff CPA and Associates, each audit case is handled individually, and analytically reviewed and prepared for by an experienced CPA. Our expertise is a result of our years of experience defending our clients against the IRS.

For help with IRS, tax audits, tax problems, back taxes, tax settlements, tax debt, Offer in Compromise, tax help, IRS debt, a tax lien, a state tax levy, an IRS levy, an IRS tax lien, contact us.  If you need IRS help and have unresolved cases with previous tax lawyers and tax attorneys, we can help find an optimal resolution for your indigenous needs.  Contact us at 201-947-8081 or 646-688-2807, or email us at info@irstaxproblems.com.

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