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In the sentence below, what is the meaning of automatic red flag? Please let me know if you know.

Is it an automatic red flag if I take the home office deduction?

closed as off-topic by user24743, ColleenV, Nathan Tuggy, M.A.R., Stephie May 6 '16 at 21:28

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  • 1
    Sounds like a tax question. A "red flag" is a warning or indication that something is wrong or amiss. An automatic red flag is one that happens without any sort of human intervention or decision. The question can be paraphrased "Will the computers at the IRS (or wherever) issue a warning (to the staff) merely upon seeing that the home office deduction has been used?" – Tᴚoɯɐuo May 6 '16 at 14:22
  • Did you look up "red flag"? – stangdon May 6 '16 at 14:23
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A red flag is something that can give you unwanted attention, particularly by an authority of some sort, if someone were to notice or check for such "red flags."

Automatic doesn't mean anything different, the speaker/writer is asking if taking a home office deduction will automatically function as a "red flag" - the authority in question is likely the IRS or other taxing authority who may call you in for an audit if something on your taxes looks unusual.

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