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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Tax Season is Every Season : How To Avoid An IRS Audit

What Does The IRS Take Into Consideration
When Performing An Audit?
Did you know that you are more likely to face an audit when Tax Season is in full swing.  In either case, it pays to be ready, no matter what.

Although Tax Season for all officially ends and begins on a given calender day, one mustn’t make the mistake that so many businesses do, by thinking  you are safe from scrutiny  once the season comes to a close.

Remain on Guard

The Internal Revenue Service has a list of things it looks for when considering a business for potential audit. These red flags can pop up for any  reason, at any  time. As this is the case, it remains imperative to  be on the look out for potential  accounting issues, and, when and wherever possible, to outsource with a reputable accounting firm.

Indeed, the IRS can  perform an audit for any reason any day of the week, 365 days a year.


Having a second pair of professional eyes lowers your risk of IRS investigation, which  all too often approaches a corporate audit with a “guilty  until proven innocent” mindset.

What to Look Out For 

The IRS looks for a wide variety of things that  could potentially clue them in  the idea that you may not be on the up and up, at least in their eyes. When it comes  to intensive government investigations, an uncrossed “t” and undotted “i” simply means payments weren't given to Uncle Sam  in due time, and that can spell trouble for you and your business.  Even so, agents will and often do consider human errors during an audit, but they will often need detailed documentation  to make such determinations—this  is when accurate record keeping becomes crucial.

So, what are some of the things the IRS will take into consideration when performing an audit?  There are quite a few, with the most common being:

Ready and Petty Cash – Businesses that run primarily on cash transactions or  have a lot of petty cash on hand for odds and ends, may garner significant  attention. This is because cash is hard to trace and can easily be hidden or  passed under tables.  In such cases, the IRS may also evaluate your --

Lifestyle and Charity Contributions –   When cash flow is difficult to determine, the Internal Revenue Service will often assess  an individual's social status as it relates to what neighborhood they live in, car they drive, how expensive their clothing  is and even the size of charitable contributions. They weigh these things against the person's assets, inheritances and  the money reportedly take in.  Of course, someone with a sizable income will be able to amass a wealth of creature comforts. If you are pulling in less than 110k a year however, living in Beverly  Hills and buying a Bentley every year should be well out of your price range.

While the IRS uses this assessment as tool in business that deals largely in cash, they can and often employ this methodology in affirming potential tax evasive or mismanagement  for other types of payment based goods and services.

Business Expenses and Reports  – It is not unheard of for  an employee or businessman  to  expense corporate travels, and while even entertainment and meals can be  legally deducted, you have to be able to prove their relation to  company related activity. This is why it is prudent to keep all receipts and documents  on file on the in case they are needed to justify an company expenditure during an audit.

Work Form Home Write Offs  – working from home is becoming more and more common. For business owners who spend a good portion of their time at their residence, they may and can often write off things like their utilities and  internet service.  Individuals  who are tempted to do so however, may  pile on unnecessary deductions in order to receive a hefty  tax return.  Eagle eyed IRS agents  will spot such discrepancies however, and in due time, you may find yourself undergoing an intensive tax audit.

As the above list indicates it is prudent to retain receipts and  relevant forms on the in case  the IRS pays you a visit. The best course of action is to avoid an audit altogether.  One way to do this it  to   stay on top of your accounts, which  is why outsourcing to a reputable finance firm is in you and your companies best interest, all year round.

Call GBC Income Tax Services today at 678-366-9232 for all your tax and IRS needs!

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