While many taxpayers look forward to filing season as the time they can get “free money” in the form of their tax refund, those with more complex returns are focused as well on avoiding situations that might lead to an audit.

“Things are different today than they used to be on audits,” observed Bradford Hall, managing director of Hall & Company CPAs. “They used to select returns based on various items on returns. They would review for anomalies, such as high charitable deductions which they would pick out of the crowd. Now it’s more of a matching process—‘Here’s what we have on you from these 1099s or 1098s, or medical deductions.’ They have information in their computer bank and they can compare it with your return.”

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