Best Business Commentary

“More Americans than ever before are being audited,” says Catherine Clifford in CNNMoney.com, but you can reduce the chances that “the tax man will take a second look” at your returns. Lying on your résumé is “a really bad idea” today, says Molly Selvin i

Avoiding a date with the taxman

“More Americans than ever before are being audited,” says Catherine Clifford in CNNMoney.com, but you can reduce the chances that “the tax man will take a second look” at your returns. The IRS keeps its auditing criteria “under lock and key,” but here are “a few factors” to keep in mind: The more you earn, the greater your risk—1 out of 11 people earning $1 million or more were audited last year. Unexplained high expenditures or large charitable donations are also red flags, as are handwritten or unsigned returns. And “home office expenses” are a “dangerous area”—be conservative in your deductions, and keep “very detailed logs and organized receipts.”

Your résumé is an open book

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Lying on your résumé was never wise, says Molly Selvin in the Los Angeles Times, but now such “fibbing” is “a really bad idea.” Yes, it is “epidemic” today, amid “superheated” job competition that rewards star performers. But why risk getting caught by the “army of commercial background screeners” employers now use, especially when most hirers are “forgiving if you come clean” about your job-related peccadilloes? The most common “red flag” is lying about academic credentials, but you can get in trouble for what you leave off your résumé, too—bankruptcies, lawsuits, minor convictions. Employers know you’re human, and “fessing up is always better than staying silent.”

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