Avoid Audit Red Flags

(Memphis) There’s a chance you’ve never been audited and you never will be.

However, experts told WREG the IRS does plan to more heavily scrutinize returns of low to middle-income taxpayers claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit.

But no matter how much money you make, nobody wants to hear from the IRS after filing.

The tax time rush hasn’t quite hit yet, so it was a fairly slow day at H&R Block in West Memphis, Arkansas when WREG visited.

Whether you’re filing yourself or having someone do the work for you, there are certain mistakes that send up red flags and send the IRS your way with an audit.

Office manager Robert Perry says the first one is filing status.

“Sometimes folks will file head of household, when they’re not actually head of household, that’s usually one of the big red flags,” says Perry, who also runs an office in Marion, Ark.

Perry says taxpayers should also be careful when filing married but separate, because certain things on those tax returns must mirror one another.

Folks who are self-employed may also send up red flags if they’re not careful when documenting income and expenses.

“The big thing with self employment is you want to make sure your expenses are relatable to the business that you’re in.”

Speaking of good record keeping, big charitable contributions are another red flag for auditors.

“If you can prove it, take it, but sometimes folks will sit down and say, ‘I paid $5,000 to the church,’ that’s where the red flag comes in, everything you do with taxes, you really need to have a copy of.”

Other things that send up red flags for the IRS include higher income, failing to report income and claiming 100 percent business use of a vehicle.



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