Tax expert offers tips on avoiding hassles with the IRS - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Tax expert offers tips on avoiding hassles with the IRS

(NBC) - He's back for his annual appointment, but Anthony Caputo isn't too worried about the IRS.

"I wouldn't worry about an audit. If they come up with something, it's gonna be so minimal, it won't be detrimental to my pocket book," he said.

Rosemary Hernandez is Caputo's enrolled agent, and has five tips to prevent an IRS audit.

No. 1: If you bank or invest online, print out your end of year statement. You won't get a stub in the mail, and it can be an easy oversight.

"Online brokerage accounts that your employer suggested for your employee stock plan," said Hernandez.

No .2 : Make sure no one else is claiming your dependents as their dependents.

"An ex-spouse or another family member, or the child themselves might want to file a tax return and they do it first," Hernandez explained.

No. 3 is for rental property owners and self-employed contractors.

"The main thing is when you have expenses they need to be categorized, broken down into smaller categories so if the return is looked at they can see what those items are," Hernandez said.

Don't simply write off a $10,000 remodel as a $10,000 remodel. Itemize your costs.

No. 4: Keep an eye on the alternative minimum tax or amt. Some people don't think they qualify, but you need to double check. Those who earn more pay more amt.

And finally, for those who itemize their cell phone bills or computer purchases, called listed property.

"The IRS considers cell phones and computers, vehicles, listed property. You must have a log, and be able to show which is business and which is personal," said Hernandez.

There is some bad news. After years of operating under a hiring freeze, the IRS is hiring again, more agents to double check your tax return.

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