Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ten Ways To Audit Proof Your Tax Return

I tweeted about this already but this one goes out to everyone who's not following me on Twitter. (And why aren't you following me on Twitter? Huh? Why?) My favorite tip:

2. Use a pro, or use software.

Some argue a return prepared by a professional is less likely to be audited, but there's little reliable data to support it. Nevertheless, having a professional prepare your return--or at least advise on anything quirky--is a good idea.

If you do your own return, using a commercially available software package, such as Intuit's ( INTU - news - people ) Turbotax or H&R Block's ( HRB - news - people ) Taxcut will make it easier and more reliable. If the software produces some result you consider wrong, don't simply override it. (Or, at least investigate before you do.) Example: You're not rich and can't understand why the software has spit out a Form 6251 showing you owe the alternative minimum tax. Sad to say, you probably do, particularly if you live in a high tax state or have a large family.

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