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Tax experts weigh in on filing mistakes that could get you audit - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Tax experts weigh in on filing mistakes that could get you audited

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COLORADO SPRINGS -  Millions of Americans will be filing tax returns in the next six weeks. There are many red flags that can easily trigger an audit by the Internal Revenue Service, that many people filing their taxes at home may not be aware of. 

Judy Kaltenbacher is a partner at Stockman Cast Ryan and Company in Colorado Springs. She says constantly changing tax laws can make filing complicated. "There's just no easy answer to anything anymore," she said. "Each person's situation will change the answer."

Millions of people will file their taxes at home, trusting software like H&R Block and TurboTax to find their maximum refund. Certain mistakes can put you under the IRS's microscope, like claiming usually high charitable contributions, deducting gas mileage for your regular commute to work, and claiming home office space. Audits are both random and triggered by red flags. Mathematical errors can cause scrutiny by the IRS.

"if it was something like a mathematical error, you can write a notice to them asking to abate any penalties," Kaltenbacher said. "But you would still owe the tax and any interest due."

If you do get a notice from the IRS, it's important to know that most of time they're just looking for documentation to substantiate the position you took on your return.  "A lot of taxpayers just pay it so they don't have to deal with the IRS," she said. 

Remember to only claim deductions that you have the documentation to back up, in case of an audit. For those that file at home, TurboTax and H&R Block offer audit defense services.
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