Contrary to popular belief, there is nothing inherently threatening or sinister about an IRS audit. During the audit, the agency will simply double-check your numbers to ensure that there are no discrepancies in your tax returns. Therefore, if you are truthful and conscientious, you do not have to worry.
At times audits are completely random; however, the IRS usually selects taxpayers on the basis of suspicious or unscrupulous activity. As a rule of thumb, it is better to avoid subterfuge. If you are worried about being audited by the IRS this tax season, the following are some red flags that may land you in the hot seat.
Errors and Omissions
It is true that mistakes often happen in life. That being said, when you are filing your tax return, you must play close attention to all details, and be meticulous. It is likely that if you make simple mathematical errors, they will be noticed by the agency, which can lead to your tax return being audited.
For donations of $200 or less, the federal refundable tax credit is 15%. For donations more than $200, the federal refundable tax credit is representative of the top marginal tax rate of 29% even if you were not in that marginal tax bracket.
Without a doubt one of the best ways for us middle-class folks to reduce our income tax burden is to donate charitably with intent. Most of my clients find themselves pleasantly surprised at the tax benefits received when they go through the exercise of donating gently used household items to charity.
In my last post about how year end tax planning starts with reassessing one’s commitment to charitable donations, I mentioned that my mom donated her appreciated shares of Exon Mobile to a Donor Advised Fund (DAF). Many readers had questions about what a DAF is and the mechanics of donating to one. So much so I was compelled to follow up in this post. Read More
How do you plan to give back next year?
The more money we tend to have, the harder it tends to be to share our resources with others. This is true up to the point we start to appreciate the significance of giving back. For many this tipping point comes far too late in life if at all. If you charitably donate or are considering being charitable, how much are you donating? How are you making those donations? Money? In kind? Time? How do you decide what is appropriate?
Warren Buffet released certain claims made on his 2015 personal income tax return in a statement released by Business Wire, A Berkshire Hathaway Company. It is worth noting his remarkable generosity. Check out these figures: