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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Don't Get Audited

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Don't Get Audited

While we are in tax season, I thought I would post a few quick tips that will lessen your chances of getting audited. I've never had the "pleasure" myself. Hey, these are the things you can control:

  • If you are sending in a written return, be very neat and double check your math.
  • If you have high expenses, send in documentation of why. Were you in a car accident and had a lot of medical bills? Did your house burn down? Show them the proof.
  • Sign your return. Again, if you write it up by hand, don't forget to sign! Many returns that are audited are not signed.
  • People typically give no more than 2% to charity. A figure of 10% is considered high. Do the math and see where you fall in. Go ahead and attach any documentation, especially if it's high. I know our church sends us a statement at the end of the year. If you didn't get one, go ask for one.
  • Watch the home office deductions. Be very, very careful what you deduct, and read the IRS literature to make sure you aren't deducting something you shouldn't. Yes, I read about someone who tried to deduct their boob job cause they got more tips.
  • File your return right about now. Percentage-wise, it seems less people get audited who submit their returns in late February to early March. No one knows the exact IRS formula, but wouldn't it be great to lessen your odds of getting audited?
Read more about getting audited at Red Flags for tax auditors.

So, with all that being said, you can bet I'm keeping a file handy of everything...just in case it does happen to me. Last year, 7% more people got audited, and I bet the number will rise this year too. What do you do, thinking it will lessen your chances of an audit? How to you keep your papers organized?

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