Monday, April 26, 2010

Tips on Being Audited

Some people say that being audited is like going past a speed camera. If you aren’t doing anything wrong, you won’t be penalized. However, like any of those wonderfully oversimplified analogies, this just isn't the case. Tax law is infinitely more complex that speeding law. There is a clear line in the sand for offences like speeding, but in tax, there is plenty that is open to interpretation. Even if you feel you have done nothing wrong, following our tips for getting audited could keep you out of your Miami criminal attorney's office!
  1. Don't offer more information than you have to
    This is the golden rule for being audited. You don't want to make the auditor suspicious … and even the most well-meaning people will start to sound nervous, and therefore guilty, when there is an auditor going through their intimate financial details!
  2. Only bring what is requested on the original audit notice
    That way you can’t be pressured into providing additional information that may not be legally searchable, simply because it is already there. Leave it at home if it isn’t on the audit notice.
  3. Never ignore the notice
    Being audited is right royal pain. Never ignore the notice though, as easy as it feels to just stick it in the bottom of your pile and forget about it.
  4. Have your records well-organized
    If you need help from an accountant or criminal attorney to do this, get it. Making things as easy as possible for the auditor will definitely endear them to you, and could help them overlook things that are in a gray area.
  5. Only give copies to the auditor
    There aren't any cases where the IRS will need original documents from you … and if you lose a necessary original and a case later comes to court, your criminal lawyer will have a hard time proving your case.
  6. Have your explanations ready for red flags
    Be aware of what will raise suspicions with auditors, search your memory and remember exactly why you did things that way. This applies if you have low income but a lot of deductions, excessive home office deductions, a substantial increase in income, or big meal and entertainment deductions, for example.

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