There is no way to completely avoid an IRS audit, unless you don’t make any money, but there are things you can do to reduce your chances.
If you are self employed and deal in a business with lots of cash payments, also presents opportunities for the IRS to check you out.
Of course claiming large amounts – compared to your income – for charities and mortgage interest could also raise the IRS’s interest.
Keep in mind that all 1099 forms you get, the IRS also gets. IRS computers automatically compare your return to its 1099 forms to make sure you reported all income as well as capital gains. I have been snagged twice by the IRS for forgetting to include a few dollars in interest from a real estate escrow account.
Even if none of these applies, you can still get audited as the IRS randomly picks thousands of returns each year for a check.
Some additional hints from US News Money.
And if you do get audited here are some tips:
Never meet the IRS at your home. Go the IRS office. Why? To easy for the IRS agent to ask for other documents, check your standard of living…You get the picture.
Only bring the documents that the IRS asks for.
LISTEN and give straight and honest answers. Don’t lie and don’t volunteer information.
If you think you might have crossed a line, bring an accountant.
Before you start looking anxiously at the mailbox, wondering if the IRS will be mailing you a letter, consider whether any of these nine signs that you’re about to get audited apply:
- Do You Live in Fear of an IRS Audit? 5 Red Flags to Avoid on Your Return
- Citibank Tells IRS That Your Frequent-Flier Miles Are Taxable Income
- Ten IRS Tax Benefits For Parents
- Opening New Bank Accounts Can Get You A Reward And A Tax Bill
- IRS Tax Tips To Start Your 2009 Return
- Tax Tips for Self-employed Individuals And Small Business