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Your tax return and the IRS

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Updated: 1/10/2008 11:29 am
The Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, has simplified the process of checking tax returns by looking for certain 'red flag' items. Over the years, the types of deductions most frequently challenged by the federal government include: the use of an expensive car for business; travel and entertainment deductions; medical expenses which may have been reimbursed by insurance; and medical deductions for drugs, you can only deduct those drugs prescribed by a doctor. A change of address can also be a red flag; the IRS may check to see if you reported a capital gain on the sale of your home. Even separated or divorced parents may cause the IRS to take a closer look, since only one parent is allowed to claim the children as a deduction. Also, if one spouse reports alimony paid as a deduction, the other needs to be sure to claim the same amount as income. The easiest way to avoid trouble with the IRS is to be completely honest in filling out your tax return. If your financial or life status is complicated, consider the services of a tax preparation service. These notes are meant to be a general guide to federal income taxes. If you need specific advice, please consult a tax advisor or call the toll-free number for Federal Tax Information and Assistance at 1-800-829-1040.
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