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Your last-minute questions about taxes answered

Alyssa Pry
Personal Finance Reporter

With the April 15 tax deadline right around the corner, Yahoo Finance teamed up with a panel of expert certified public accountants to help decode your tax questions.

How do I maximize my deductions?

If you’re hoping to maximize your deductions but are missing some receipts, CPA Donna Cuiffo says you may be able to get by, as long as you have accurate records.

“If somebody is very diligent in keeping their records for their business expenses, if you're missing one or two, that isn't going to cause you not to take up that expense,” she says.

Which tax software should I use?

Deciding which tax software to use comes down to which will give you the better results, says Ebong Eka, a CPA with EKAnomics Tax Relief. “Software tends to do a good job of preparing people's taxes, so what I would suggest people do is take a look at the refund they're going to receive and choose the one that's most favorable,” he says.

What happens if I make a mistake?

Making mistakes is a common fear for taxpayers, but Eka says small mistakes won’t typically be a red flag for the IRS.

“If it's egregious, in that you chose to evade tax, that's a bit different. People go to jail for evading taxes,” he says. “But if you make a mistake, whether it's a number error or maybe a calculation error, the IRS would basically adjust your return and then send you a bill for the difference or send you the money if it results in a refund.”

Will I get audited?

If you’re concerned with getting audited this year, CPA Sheila Brandenburg says getting audited can be good for businesses. “Businesses are generally audited on a pretty regular basis and that's great news for them, because perhaps some deduction or item was missed on their return,” she says. “If they know they’re going to get audited, they’ll have an opportunity to fix it.”


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