12 IRS Audit Flags For 2012: “IRS audit” is one of most-feared phrases in the English language. While the chance of being audited is pretty low (about one in 100), the chance of being touched by the IRS is on the rise, according to my colleague Kathy Kristof. You may be one of the unlucky two percent of taxpayers who are subjected to random audits, but most IRS inquiries arise for specific reasons. Here are the 12 audit flags for 2012. Remember, many of these are legitimate — just make sure that you have all supporting documentation in case the IRS calls.
1. Not reporting income: Whoops — forgot about that consulting gig? The IRS receives copies of all 1099s and W-2s you receive, so make sure you report all income on your return. If you receive an incorrect 1099, talk to the issuer and make sure that a corrected form is filed with the IRS.
2. A large change in income: The IRS computers have all of your historic data, so when there’s a big change from the previous year, it can trigger a red flag.
3. Being self-employed: Self-employed workers take note: The IRS doesn’t trust you, because so many of you are trying to game the system by under-reporting income and overstating deductions. This class of taxpayer must be well-prepared to defend all deductions and credits. Continue Reading…