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Avoiding common tax errors to reduce audit chances

There are several common mistakes that some Georgia residents make with their tax returns that could lead them to be targeted for audits. By avoiding these errors, taxpayers may reduce their chances of being selected for audits. If they are facing audits, they may want to get help instead of trying to represent themselves.

Why less IRS audit rates may not be good

According to reports, the Internal Revenue service has announced that the amount of tax audits it normally conducts will be greatly reduced for the 2016 tax year due to the low number of IRS workers and budget cuts. In fact, the chances a taxpayer will be audited has dropped to less than one percent, which is less than one for every 100 taxpayers. While most Georgia taxpayers will consider this good news, some taxpayers may use the occasion to take advantage of the system. This means that the IRS must still conduct audits, so it is a good idea for every taxpayer to be prepared just in case they are among the small number of taxpayers to be audited.

Tax audit rate falls again in fiscal 2016

Tax audits are down for the fifth straight year according to information from the Wall Street Journal. In fiscal year 2016, just .7 percent of returns were audited, which translates to about one audit for every 143 returns. That was the lowest volume of audits since 2003. Georgia residents and others in the highest tax bracket also saw a reduction in the number of returns audited.

Red flags that trigger IRS audits

Most Georgia residents who will be filing their 2016 federal income tax returns will not be audited. In fact, the Internal Revenue Service only audits around 1 percent of the tax returns that it receives. Despite the low chances of an IRS audit, audits are still a concern for some people, and it is important to be aware of the red flags that the IRS looks for.

Things to remember about tax audits

Many people in Georgia may be getting ready to file their tax returns in January. Though the possibility of an IRS audit is a concern for a lot of people, the chances of actually getting audited are very slim. Because the IRS has fewer employees than it has ever had before, most audits are resolved through the mail.

Some IRS audits take longer than others

Every year, a number of Georgia residents and companies receive letters from the Internal Revenue Service informing them that their tax returns are being audited. Though the prospect of an audit can be stressful, many people can resolve an audit easily by providing the IRS with the documentation that they need. If a taxpayer owns multiple businesses or lacks appropriate documentation to prove income and deductions, an IRS audit could be prolonged.

Retired taxpayers and IRS audits

Retired Georgia residents have to file their federal income tax returns just like people that are still in the workforce. The Internal Revenue Service wants to know about income from retirement account distributions, investments, rental properties and even gambling winnings. If retirees doe not fill out their tax form correctly or has income information that raises a red flag, their tax form could be singled out for an audit.

What kind of taxpayer the IRS likes to audit

Georgia residents have less risk of being audited by the Internal Revenue Service than they have had in decades. That's because the IRS began auditing fewer returns after the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 forced the agency to pay greater attention to taxpayer rights than collection activities. Budget cuts have also resulted in fewer IRS audits.

Using tax software may reduce the likelihood of an audit

Few pieces of mail elicit more anxiety among Georgia residents than an audit notice from the Internal Revenue Service. Financial experts often provide advice about how to best avoid an audit, but data provided by the oft-maligned agency indicates that using professional tax software to prepare an income tax return may lower the chances of being selected and earning more than $1 million could increase them.

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