What deductions does the IRS consider automatically suspicious?

It is 2015, which means that the deadline to file your federal income tax return in about three and a half months away. Some people may plan on filing soon, to get it out of the way early.

Nobody should pay more in taxes than they actually owe. One way to reduce your tax bill is by claiming deductions. However, some deductions are more likely to trigger an IRS audit than others, even if they are legitimate. This could be a big hassle, and require the assistance of a tax attorney to resolve.

According to the Motley Fool, two common deductions are among the riskiest, as far as triggering an audit is concerned.

First are business deductions, especially for those who work out of their homes. The IRS allows home-office deductions, but traditionally only allows deductions based on a calculation of what percentage of your home is used regularly and exclusively for business. Say your house has six rooms, one of which you use as a home office. That means that roughly 17 percent of your home is used for business, and you can deduct 17 percent of related costs, like mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance and so on. You can also deduct all of the cost of maintaining the business-only space.

Another deduction the IRS views as a potential red flag are large charitable donations. It is common for taxpayers to give to their favorite charities toward the end of the year, then claim those donations as tax deductions. This is perfectly legitimate, but the IRS looks suspiciously at donations it believes are abnormally large. It bases this opinion on historical donation rates based on taxpayers’ income and tax brackets.

Again, just because the IRS chooses to audit you does not mean you broke the law. It means you must explain your deductions, which an experienced attorney can help with.

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