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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 audit send chills down yourspine? Historically, have been audited by the IRSat double the rate of all filers. Although that rate is dropping,there are a number of practical reasons why small businesses are atgreater risk of being audited, says Vicki L. Helmick, a CPA inOrlando, .

"If you're a sole proprietor, have a home office or doyour return by hand rather than using a computer program or aprofessional tax preparer, you increase your chances of beingaudited," Helmick says. Of course, you may be audited nomatter what. There are a few things you can do when starting yourbusiness to make the experience less stressful.

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