IRS Has Good News On Tax Deadline Day - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Anchor Tony McEwing

IRS Has Good News On Tax Deadline Day

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The date April 15th can provoke any number of feelings from dread to delight depending upon whether you are among the 24-percent or so who will owe Uncle Sam money from 2013 or the estimated 54-percent expecting a refund. Even though I play by the rules, I still find income tax preparation to be a huge headache and more so if I know I'm going to have to write a check when it's all said and done.

This year the IRS is giving taxpayers an early Christmas gift. Not because it wants to but because it doesn't have much choice. Your chances of being audited for any tax year is slim at best but this year the likelihood is even lower. In fact, the lowest it's been in decades. Like other government agencies, the IRS has fallen victim to the federal budget axe meaning there will be fewer agents auditing returns than at any time since at least the 1980s.

Last year, the IRS audited less than 1-percent of all returns from individuals. That is the lowest rate since 2005. And IRS Commissioner John Koskinen admits that even fewer people will have their returns tagged this time around. According to Koskinen, that means a lot of people who should be paying more or should be prosecuted for intentionally defrauding the government won't be.

But that doesn't mean you won't be one of the unlucky few to get a bone-chilling audit letter from the IRS. And you should be aware that there are certain deductions that automatically raise a red flag with the agency. If you're one of the lucky few who makes more than a million dollars a year, your chances of being audited are greatly increased. Unreported income such as investment returns is a huge no-no. Home-based businesses and home office deductions will also get the agency's attention. Large business meal and entertainment deductions and excessive business auto usage may also attract unwanted scrutiny, as could large casualty losses.

But keep in mind, even if you are audited and are told you owe money, you can always appeal the decision. And believe it or not, the IRS has been known to negotiate. But for the majority of taxpayers who will be getting money back from Uncle Sam, happy filing!

Tony McEwing co-anchors FOX 11 Morning News at 4:30 am and provides news updates for the Emmy award winning Good Day LA, broadcast weekdays from 7:00 - 10:00 am. He also co-anchors the FOX 11 10 am News and the FOX 11 News at Noon.
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