Writing off expenses that you kept track of for the past year allows you to lower your tax bill, but utilizing restraint will help you avoid having the IRS question the legitimacy of the deductions and launching a time-sucking audit.
Playing it safe will help you avoid the headache and stress of an audit. Writing off various expenses can make sense in lowering your taxable income, but here are the top 15 tax breaks that can put an IRS auditor on heightened alert.
While medical expenses can add up easily, especially if you have a high deductible, qualifying for these tax breaks is still difficult. Your total medical expenses must have exceeded 10% of your adjusted gross income in order for you to start deducting the bills if you are under 65, said Joe Rehm, an enrolled agent at Tax Defense Network, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based tax resolution company.
“The probability that all of these conditions were met is statistically low, which is well known to the IRS,” he said. “Current healthcare reporting requirements create unprecedented transparency when it comes to what coverage you did or didn’t have. Be honest with your deductions, don’t fudge the numbers and make sure your calculations are spot on.”