Why Did You Get Audited?
The IRS uses random selection as one method to choose which tax returns to audit.
They may also flag tax returns because:
- You’re in a higher income tax bracket
- You have math errors on your tax return
- You report no income or not all of your income
- Your tax return involves issues with other taxpayers whose returns are being audited
- You reported too many losses
- You deducted too many work expenses
- You claimed too many charitable contributions
What To Do If You’re Audited:
- Ask for help from your accountant
- Send your notice to us as soon as possible
- Discuss with your accountant what is being questioned
- Gather any forms or source documents that relate to the item(s) being requested
- Respond in a timely manner
- Check IRS.gov to review its Audit Techniques Guides (ATGs)
Know Your Rights:
According to the IRS, the taxpayer has a right to:
- Professional and courteous treatment by IRS employees
- Privacy and confidentiality about tax matters
- Know why the IRS is asking for information, how the IRS will use it and what will happen if the requested information is not provided
- Representation, by oneself or an authorized representative
- Appeal disagreements, both within the IRS and before the courts.
How Far Back Can the IRS Audit?
The IRS can include returns filed within the last three years in an audit. However, if they determine fraud or a substantial error, they can go back additional years.
There are two types of audits:
Field audit: An in-person interview and review of records. It often happens at the taxpayer’s home, business or accountant’s office.
Correspondence audit: A written request for more info about a specific tax return item or issue handled via mail.
- DiD YOU KNOW? Approximately 2/3 of audits are handled through the mail