The nation’s tax collectors have long made it a practice to look for discrepancies, omissions and suspicious activity to uncover tax evasion and fraud. And lately, the IRS has expanded its monitoring to include social media.
The agency now keeps an eye out for online discussions about nonpayment or underpayment of taxes, and even sale prices of goods on sites like eBay that don’t match what taxpayers report.
So how can you know if you are under scrutiny? You can’t know exactly, but some moves are more likely than others to attract attention.
Noncash deductions are a prime example, according to several tax experts. If you donate a car to the American Lung Association, or a large quantity of clothing to the Salvation Army, make sure that the deduction you take is reasonable, and that you can document how you came to that amount.