Tax Tips: Avoiding an audit

WICHITA FALLS, TX - Tax filer Genevieve Anderson said there are things you need to check before you file.

"You really want to try and stay out of hawk with the IRS," said Anderson.  "The last people you want to owe on the face of the earth are the IRS.  They can ban you from taking certain credits for 10 years.  They can audit you to the point where every year audit you.  You can end up owing thousands and thousands of dollars.  I've seen as high as $70,000."

Mistakes you make on your taxes can also be a flag to the IRS, causing an audit.

"You can't take a credit in two places," said Anderson.  "Sometimes going through these online programs people will get confused or not understand correctly what the program is asking them and they will put the same numbers in 2 or 3 times and that can be a problem."

While only a small percentage of people get audited every year, it could cost you more than money if you file falsely.

"The IRS can definitely go after you for tax fraud," said Anderson.  "Tax fraud can equal jail time."

One of the most common mistakes on taxes, is how you claim your children.

"If you're separated parents or something and you're alternating years and you're like 'but I thought it was my year to claim the child' and then the other person claims the child," said Anderson. "Now the IRS has to figure out who is really entitled to claim that child."

Anderson said staying organized is the best thing you can do when filing this spring.
"Just make sure you keep all your records," said Anderson.  "You put that in your taxes and you keep them.  I recommend you keep them for 7 to 10 years."
"If you work, claim it.  "You may owe but that's great because you made that much money.  If you didn't make that much money, then the IRS is going to give you the credits if you're eligible for them."