Bwahhhh! The Tax Man cometh! Here are 16 red flags to watch out for. If you wave them, it will be like if you called up the IRS and said, “Hello? IRS? I’d like you to come audit my sorry ass six ways from Sunday. Here’s my address.”
16. Attach everything you’re supposed to, sign where you’re supposed to, and use good penmanship. If your return looks sloppy, they’re going to think your numbers might be sloppy.
15. Use exact numbers on your non-cash contributions
14. You say it’s a business, the IRS says it’s a hobby, you deduct big losses from it, and they audit you. And then you cry like a little girl.
13. This is a no-brainer but if you mess it up, it’s a big red flag: What you report as income must match the income forms the IRS is getting from the people who gave you the income.
12. Conformity is good. If your deductions are way out of line with the national average, sound the klaxons. For someone earning $50-$100k, that’s $5,812 in deductible taxes, $2,703 in charitable gifts, and $8,946 in interest.
11. All your 1099s are belong to them. Report all interest, dividends and miscellaneous income. If you got a 1099, they’re getting it too.
10. Round numbers belong in math problems, not on your tax return. Unless it really was a round number. But it probably wasn’t. Just use an exact number, and if you can’t remember it exactly, make it look like a real number. You should round cents to the nearest dollar. Just don’t round your dollars, if you know what I’m saying. Joe Francis, the guy behind “Girls Gone Wild” does not know what I’m saying and that’s why the IRS busted him when he claimed $333,333.33 in false expenses.
Here’s some more things that might prod the IRS to go jihad on your return:
9. Claiming tax shelter investment losses
8. Claiming complex businesses expenses
7. Your business involves lots of cash and tips
6. Claiming rental expenses
5. You were audited in the past and had to cough up because of it
4. You’re a shareholder or partner in a company that got audited
3. Complex tax transactions without much explanation
2. You’re just too nice! and claimed large cash contributions to charities compared with how much you make.
1. Someone finked on you.
We could also call this, “16 reasons I use an accountant.”