Making sure your corporate or individual tax return is letter perfect is one of the keys to avoiding an audit.
So says former IRS attorney and best-selling author Sandy Botkin, CPA, Esq.
The author and tax advisor reports that contrary to popular belief, human eyes do look at most IRS returns and they are seeking little flaws that often lead to bigger misstatements.
"Most people don't realize that the IRS audits 68% of all final returns," says Botkin, CEO of the Tax Reduction Institute, www.taxreductioninstitute.com. "A simple oversight such as not signing your return or transposing digits in your social security number can trigger an audit."
While unsigned returns are the most common error, Botkin offers 10 additional and important tips to reduce your chances of an IRS audit:
1. Mail your return by registered mail, return receipt requested, or by Federal Express.
2. Use the pre-printed IRS labels with your name and social security number.
3. Send all changes of address to the IRS whenever you move.
4. Make sure that your tax return is neat and legible.
5. File all elections to which you're entitled.
6. Report all of your income.
7. Have your return prepared by a competent tax preparer.
8. Break your income and large expenses into small segments. Income reported to the IRS on Form 1099s should be separated from other income.
9. Keep receipts or cancelled checks for any charitable deductions.
10. Report IRA rollovers if you change jobs.
Botkin puts his encyclopedic knowledge of the tax codes to work for taxpayers in his latest book, "REAL ESTATE TAX SECRETS of the RICH" (McGraw-Hill 2007). That's where he reveals how to use your home and investment properties as legal tax shelters to save thousands of dollars each year. The book covers everything from vacation homes, deducting improvements, to the divorce tax trap -- a critical piece of information for anyone getting divorced. Botkin also offers valuable tips such as how to make your tax record-keeping bullet proof.
"REAL ESTATE TAX SECRETS of the RICH" is available at www.taxreductioninstitute.com, www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, www.borders.com.