A plain vanilla return is usually safer than one that stands out. But if you have deductions that are above average, it's OK to take them.
There's no guaranteed way to avoid an audit of your tax return, but there are steps you can take to reduce the risk.
The IRS has increased the rate of audits, and nearly 30% of the very rich got their returns examined in 2011. That compares with 1% of taxpayers overall.
There's no surefire way to avoid the nightmare millions of taxpayers fear: an IRS audit. But there are a lot of ways to reduce the risk.
Businesses small enough that their income is reported on owners' returns account for the greatest amount of underpaid taxes. Only 1% of those are audited.
12% of taxpayers making $1 million or more were audited last year, up from 6% in 2009. Among those making less than $200,000, the audit rate stayed near 1%.
Never ignore a letter from the IRS. Sometimes you can solve the problem by sending more information, and sometimes you need a professional.
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MONEY & POLITICS
Breaking up big banks is an untested solution to the too big to fail problem that attempts to isolate and dismantle large, troubled institutions while protecting the rest of the economy.
Your No. 1 priority needs to be keeping safe. But after that, you can save yourself some grief by making careful records -- and keeping all your receipts.
The IRS is struggling to combat identify thieves who file fraudulent tax returns in the names of older residents who don't need to file.