Most Illinois residents never become the subject of an IRS tax audit. However, certain things you may or may not do when filing your taxes might increase the odds of the IRS auditing you. The IRS may also decide to audit you completely at random, although this is rare.
According to NerdWallet, any of the following three actions may raise a red flag with the IRS and increase the chances of you having to undergo a mail, office or field audit.
1. Neglecting to report all income received
The IRS receives the same income reports that you do, so make sure to report all income received. Failing to report income is a surefire way to up your chances of the IRS auditing you.
2. Claiming the home office deduction
While you may have a valid reason to take the home office deduction, many people try to do so despite using the “home office” for other purposes, which is against the rules. To qualify for the home office deduction, you have to use the space exclusively for professional purposes. Because so many people take this deduction without qualifying for it, taking the deduction at all might increase the odds of an audit.
3. Taking too many charitable donations
Making charitable contributions offers certain tax benefits. However, you need to be able to furnish proof of any charitable donations made throughout the year. Reporting charitable donations without being able to back them up may make the IRS take a second look at your filing.
Even if the IRS does make the decision to audit you, try to stay calm. Most audits take place entirely through the mail.