What to do if your taxes are audited: 10 top tips

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Now's about the time that you'll be putting together your tax return for the 2011/12 financial year. But what do you do if ATO comes knocking to make sure that all of your property investment deductions are genuine? Don't panic, Your Investment Property offers 10 bite-sized tips to get you through the audit process.

• Don’t freak out. You are innocent until proven guilty

• If you have done the wrong thing then fess up to the ATO straight away and limit the damage

• Keep your receipts and have them all in order and ready for the tax office

• Make sure you have a depreciation schedule from a quantity surveyor if you are claiming depreciation for rental properties

• Have a 13-week log book for car deductions

• Seek professional advice from a tax lawyer/accountant who has experience in dealing with ATO tax audits

• Get everything prepared in advance – bank statements, records, invoices and receipts

• Be honest, and explain anything relevant in as timely a fashion as possible

• Don’t sign anything until you fully understand the document, and agree with the conclusions that it has come to

• If necessary, seek a payment plan or a retraction of penalties 

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