IRS Audit Triggers - Avoid These Mistakes

IRS Audit Triggers - Avoid These Mistakes

Accurate Income Reporting

The income reported on Form W-2 and Form 1099 needs to match the income reported on your return. Inaccurate data can lead to a call from the IRS. Hire third party inspection services to prevent any mistakes that can lead to an IRS audit.

Unusual Charitable Deductions

Charitable donations that are considerably higher than average donations for your income bracket can raise questions.

Unusually Low Salaries

The IRS looks closely at S corporations and shareholder compensation, which is reported on their personal tax return. If the stated salary of a principal owner looks suspiciously low, the IRS will want to look into that.

Incorrect Social Security Number

Be sure to avoid this simple pitfall. Double check your Social Security Number and make sure it’s correct. Believe it or not, it happens. Avoid the headache of resubmitting a rejected e-filed return over a mistyped number, and if you’re hand-filing the return, make your social security number is clearly legible. 

Claiming Losses from “Hobby” Activities

Certain types of businesses showing losses, such as horse racing or horse breeding, will often generate increased attention.

Claiming a Different Alimony Amount than Your Ex-spouse Claimed

If the amount of alimony deduction or alimony income you’re reporting is different than the amount your ex-spouse claims you’ll run into trouble. Remember to include the Social Security Number of your ex-spouse when you report your alimony deduction, this is a must.

Excess Meals and Entertainment Expenses

Considerable expenses on meals and entertainment for certain businesses will raise questions. Keep careful track of business expenses for accurate annual reporting.

New related IRS guidance is important and is detailed here.