Common Mistakes and Outrageous Claims That Arouse Suspicion at the IRS
Making legitimate claims on your tax return is your inalienable right as a law abiding American. If you have real claims and real receipts to back them up, then it doesn’t matter if they seem aggressive or not. I encourage you to claim them. From charitable donations to mileage and claiming your home office, these are typical deductions that rarely arouse suspicion unless they are disproportionate to income.
However, many people make claims that either immediately arouse suspicion or are plain ridiculous. Most of the ridiculous claims only go through when an individual does their own tax return. If you go through a professional tax preparer, the outrageous claims will not make it through to the IRS unless you are working with an unethical preparer who is looking to scam the IRS in your name.
So, educating yourself about some of the most common mistakes may help you if you have requested an extension to file your 2014 taxes, and they are good to keep in mind throughout the year as you make decisions regarding claims for 2015.
- Misreporting your Income
- Unusually High Charitable Deductions
- Unusually Low salary
- Your Social Security Number is Wrong
- Claiming Losses from Hobby Activities
- Claiming A Different Amount for Alimony Than Ex-Spouse
- A Large Amount for Meals and Entertainment Expenses
- Claiming A Pet as a Dependent
- Claiming an Unborn Child as a Dependent
- The Cost of a Speeding Ticket
- The Cost of Plastic Surgery and Beauty Salon and Spa Treatments
Understanding the differences between mistakes and outrageous claims is important. Some of the items from either list can be honest mistakes or misunderstandings. If you are consciously trying to cheat the IRS, though, repeatedly arousing suspicion may eventually lead to an audit. Once you’ve been filing your taxes for a few years, the difference between an honest mistake and a dishonest one becomes apparent.