How to Reduce Your Chances of an IRS Audit

The IRS can perform an audit of your taxes for a variety of reasons; sometimes it’s at random and other times it’s because of something specific on your tax return that isn’t matching up. Regardless of the reason, the idea of facing an IRS audit can be daunting—not only because it means you need to deal with more federal formalities, but also because it might mean that you did something wrong for which you could be penalized. For these reasons, making sure you’ve done everything that you can to avoid being audited is important. So what are some ways to make sure you won’t face an audit? Is there any method that’s foolproof? Below we discuss some tips to reduce your chances of facing an IRS audit.

  • File on time.

Perhaps the easiest thing you can do is just to make sure you have fully filed your tax forms on time. However, just like filing on time doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t face an audit, filing late doesn’t definitely mean that you will be audited, it just might make an audit more likely.

  • Only claim valid deductions.

As many people know, particularly if you are a business owner, claiming deductions can be a useful way to reduce your taxes and recoup losses incurred over the previous year. However, it’s important to make sure that every single deduction you make is not only honest, but something that you can account for and prove if the IRS comes back with additional questions.

  • Don’t claim improper exemptions.

Like deductions, it’s important that you are claiming the correct number of exemptions. If you don’t, this is another area that is likely to trigger IRS audits.

  • Honestly report your income.

As with both exemptions and deductions, it is essential that you properly and fully report all of your taxable income on your tax return. Not only could failing to do so constitute tax fraud, but audits are commonly triggered when people fail to report their income correctly.  Employers report your earnings to the IRS and if the income on your return does not include the amount reported to the IRS, it could trigger an audit.

  • Keep your financial records up to date.

Another good way to avoid an IRS audit is by making sure that all of your personal financial data is up-to-date and accurate. This way, you are much less likely to make the kinds of mistakes on your taxes that would trigger an audit.

  • Work with tax professionals

Tax forms are confusing and can get very complex the more assets that you have. This is especially true of someone who might own a business and have to file multiple tax returns. For these reasons, and many others, it’s always a good idea to have your taxes done by a licensed and experienced tax professional. Audits can be triggered for all types of reasons, and the best way to avoid one is by ensuring that everything has been filled in fully and accurately.

Speak with an experienced Washington state tax attorney.

Facing an IRS audit can be scary, so it’s essential that you speak with an experienced tax attorney regarding any matters relating to the IRS. At Boeshaar Law, we regularly help our clients deal with all kinds of complicated federal and state tax matters, and work hard to make the process as stress-free as we can. If you have received an audit notice from the IRS, please don’t hesitate to contact Boeshaar Law today!

Written by Robert V. Boeshaar

Robert V. Boeshaar

Robert V. Boeshaar is a Seattle tax attorney committed to helping individuals and small businesses who are facing problems with the IRS. He believes in using his experience to serve others and to make a difference in their lives.