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14 red flags that will get you audited by the IRS

Clark Howard is a nationally syndicated consumer advice expert

Are you doing your taxes? Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine has put together a list of 14 audit red flags. Here's what's included among them:

  • You make too much money.  The IRS will target those with incomes above $200,000. You have a 1 in 30 chance of being audited.
  • Not reporting taxable income. You must report all 1099s and W-2s, even if you believe them to be incorrect. (Deal with the discrepancies after filing.)
  • You give a lot of money to charity. The IRS knows what others who make similar income to you tend to give and will question you if you're claiming too much.
  • Claiming day-trading losses on Schedule C.
  • Claiming rental losses.
  • Deducting business meals, travel and entertainment.
  • Claiming 100% business use of a vehicle. Be careful, salespeople! To counter any possible IRS questions, I know someone who keeps a paper log on the dashboard and writes down every mile for work, the date and what it was for. If you do want to claim all the cost for a business expense, be sure you have another vehicle too.
  • Writing off a loss for a hobby.
  • Claiming a home office deduction.
  • Taking an alimony deduction.
  • Running a business where almost all money is in cash.
  • Not reporting a foreign bank account.
  • Engaging in currency transactions.
  • Taking excessive deductions. Again, the IRS knows what is outside normal bounds based on your income.

 

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  • We have updated information regarding a clerk getting fatally shot on Friday at the S&K Food Mart near East Virgin Street and North Sheridan. Following a standoff that lasted a few hours, police confirm three people have been taken into custody at an apartment complex near 31st and Garnett.  One of those suspects wasn’t involved in the standoff.    Police tell us the clerk didn't deserve to have this happen to him. “It’s never good when someone is dead,” TPD said  “It’s senseless.  For very little gain.” It's believed one or more of the suspects may also be responsible for a robbery at a bakery near 11th and Lewis around the same time. As of early Saturday morning,  no names have been released.  
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