Ever have the feeling... that you're being watched? It could all be in your head. Or is it? Sorry to give you the bad news, but you actually are being watched. The IRS doesn't have spies out there peeking through your blinds. But they do watch what you claim as deductions very carefully.
Somebody's watching me! So is it time to panic if you already claimed false deductions on prior tax returns? That all depends on the time frame. The IRS can audit a tax return up to 6 years after it has been filed. So if you made false deductions in that period, maybe you should be a little wary.
What do I do? If you already made the big mistake of lying to the IRS, it's not too late. First, find all your old records. Gather anything you can use to prove your case to the IRS. The IRS loves documents. But if years have passed, it's going to be hard to find all of that old paperwork.
If worse comes to worse... So you can't hunt down those files from years ago? You can either say your prayers and hope the IRS doesn't levy your bank account and garnish your wages to make up for past mistakes, or you can consult with a Tax Professional that can give you advice about your specific situation.
Prevention is Key: Times are tough, and the IRS knows this. They know with sky high gas and food prices, people with families to support are desperate to save a buck. They know people are going to be claiming false deductions more than ever, and they have already officially announced that they are doubling their efforts to catch those who commit fraud. So don't get tempted! And keep all receipts and files that support all deductions you take.