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Audit Alert

Keeping good records from the start is the key to surviving an IRS audit.

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This story appears in the April 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Does the mere thought of an IRS audit send chills down your spine? Historically, small businesses have been audited by the IRS at double the rate of all filers. Although that rate is dropping, there are a number of practical reasons why small businesses are at greater risk of being audited, says Vicki L. Helmick, a CPA in Orlando, Florida.

"If you're a sole proprietor, have a home office or do your return by hand rather than using a computer program or a professional tax preparer, you increase your chances of being audited," Helmick says. Of course, you may be audited no matter what. There are a few things you can do when starting your business to make the experience less stressful.

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