NASE Blogs

Don't be tempted by the fudge! - Tax Tip #4

Monday, March 25, 2013
Posted by Keith Hall (NASE Tax Expert) - Telling you not to be tempted by the fudge is probably a silly way to start a blog post about taxes. Silly for the most part because, of course, you will be tempted by the fudge, because it's fudge. (Duh!) But I'm not talking about the chocolate kind, I'm talking about that temptation to take a shortcut in completing your federal income tax return. 

Whether you are getting your paperwork together for the accountant or getting ready to sit down with TurboTax, you are probably feeling the temptation to just guess. To just fudge the process a little bit. Maybe even fudge the numbers a bit. Try your best to avoid that temptation. Now is the time to make this year's tax return audit-proof. You may have heard this little voice inside saying, "Let's not deal with all of that detail, and just use the same number of automobile miles as last year." Or maybe your little voice says, "They will never ask for that detail, just include $1,500 in total meals' expense and move on to the next number."

Avoid those shortcuts. Avoid those temptations. Now is the time. Make sure that you have that mileage log completed. Fill in the blanks now when it is fresh in your mind. Find those extra receipts to document your meals' expense. Remember that if the IRS does send you one of those little love notes in the mail asking for more detail, it won't be the week after you file the return. That letter will come almost three years from now...two tax returns from now! You won't remember why you chose 4,122 business miles or $1,500 in meals expense. Take the extra time to find the right numbers. Keep those receipts. Dot those "i's" and cross those "t's" And when you're done...you will feel so good about that return, you can even reward yourself with a real piece of fudge!

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