When it comes to taxes, a travel nurse’s life is far from simple. This is because travel nurses are almost always on the move. They work for different employers in different states every few months. Naturally, this can make their financial situations pretty complicated. Though we’ve already written a blog covering travel nurse taxes as a concept, today we’ll get a little more specific. That’s right, we’re talking about a travel nurse IRS audit. But before we get started, we just wanted to remind you that while we have done our research, we are not legal experts. We only seek to provide a simple overview of a travel nurse IRS audit. For more in-depth information and legal advice, you should contact an accountant or a lawyer. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, continue reading about why travel nurse IRS audits occur and what to expect during this process!
Could You Be the Subject of a Travel Nurse IRS Audit?
In a word, maybe. There are several factors that could affect your chances of encountering a travel nurse IRS audit. But before we delve into those details, we should probably go over what an IRS audit is. An IRS audit is basically a review of a person’s or organization’s financial accounts and information. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) carries out these examinations to ensure that the entity in question is following tax laws by reporting the correct figures and receiving legitimate deductions.
What Travel Nurses Need to Know about IRS Audits
There are a few reasons that you may undergo a travel nurse IRS audit. The first and simplest reason is something that we already mentioned in the opening paragraph. The complexity of a travel nurse’s income could look like a red flag to the IRS. This is due to elements such as your deductions or your seemingly low taxable wages. The disparity between your expenses and your income could look a little funny on paper, so the bureau may want to double-check everything. Another reason you may face a travel nurse IRS audit is if the IRS is auditing your entire agency. The final reason you may be on the radar of the IRS is pretty universal. Some audits are completely random, so there is really no way to predict or avoid them.
How to Prepare for a Travel Nurse IRS Audit
Now that you know the “why” of a travel nurse IRS audit, let’s discuss how you can prepare for one. Audits are never fun, but there are a few ways to make them go more smoothly when (and if) the time comes.
Get (And Stay) Organized
It’s important to remember that the IRS could be interested in reviewing documents from several years ago. To make things easier for an auditor, keep your financial information stored in a safe place. You never know when you may need to pull it out again, so keep it organized! It’s also important to remember that you can always reconstruct lost records if you are required to present them to an auditor. So, while you should hold onto dated records, it’s not the end of the world if you lose them due to certain circumstances.
Take a Deep Breath
If you are selected for a travel nurse IRS audit, remember that you are not alone. Plenty of other people, particularly your peers, have been audited before. You can always reach out to them for advice or get in touch with an expert if you have any case-specific questions. It’s also important to note that sometimes the IRS is at fault for a mistake. So, try not to freak out about an audit until you have a better idea of the details and the outcome of your case.
Research is Important
Make sure that you know your rights as a taxpayer. You about your rights in IRS Publication 1. Remember that you are under no obligation to present unrelated information and that you can appeal your case if you have sufficient proof to do so. It’s also important to note that you can delay (but not ignore) your case. This can be helpful if you need to return to your tax home or collect any necessary documentation from your previous jobs.
Have a Lifeline
We cannot stress this one enough. If you are having trouble understanding your situation, don’t be afraid to get in touch with an accountant or lawyer. Find professionals who have dealt specifically with travel nurses, as they will be able to give you the best information.
As long as you stay organized, calm, and informed, you should be more than ready for a travel nurse IRS audit if you are selected. And, if you are a travel nurse that has been audited by the IRS, please share your experience with us below! We would love to hear from you.