Almost everyone in Georgia has an obligation to file tax returns. Unfortunately, organizing the paperwork involved is almost as unpleasant as paying. Despite the challenges of preparing tax returns, people need to be thorough and have documentation to support their income and deductions. A variety of mistakes, such as rushing or approximating figures, could raise red flags that trigger an audit by the Internal Revenue Service.
Procrastinators especially risk making mistakes when they are rushing to complete returns by the deadline. To avoid errors caused by a time crunch, people should start their tax paperwork at least a month before the deadline. Filing on paper instead of electronically scores no points with the IRS. The agency reports that paper returns have an error rate of 21 percent, which places them under a greater risk of scrutiny.
Accuracy is of great importance. Therefore, people should avoid guessing or estimating. Filers should track down all 1099 forms about their income and tally the amounts precisely. The IRS receives copies of 1099s and will certainly double-check the numbers on a taxpayer’s returns. Deductions represent an important part of the filing process, and people must resist the urge to round their figures. If receipts for medical expenses total $6,966, then that exact figure must be used.
Although the IRS only audits about 1 percent of returns, a taxpayer confronted by an audit should deal with it as proactively as possible. The representation of an attorney familiar with tax audits could help a person comply with IRS requests. An attorney could also strive to protect the client’s rights during the process. If one owes taxes, an attorney could take action to negotiate a settlement.