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IRS says chances of return audits lowest in years

The head of the Internal Revenue Service says his people will keep going after what he calls "the worst of the bad guys." But the effort that has typically been put into doing that job is not going to be as vigorous as in most recent years.  

The agency says it's going to have fewer agents on audit detail than it has since the 1980s. The reason: too little money in the budget and too many new responsibilities. Included on that expanded to-do list are things like implementation of provisions of the Affordable Care Act. We suspect that pressures of enforcing the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act might be at play, as well.

Despite the circumstances, there are still sure to be audits. Anyone in the D.C. area facing such a situation should be speaking with an attorney. The challenge of an IRS audit doesn't have to be faced alone.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen confirmed recently that less than 1 percent of all individual returns came under audit scrutiny last year. And he says that this year, that figure will be even lower.

Overall, the chances of an audit are said to vary in large measure, according to the filer's income. Statistics show that the more you make, the more likely it is that an audit letter will come from the IRS. According to IRS data, only 0.9 percent of individuals who reported making $200,000 or less were audited last year. Of those who reported making $1 million or more, 10.9 percent got reviewed.

All these numbers may not mean much if you are the one who gets a notice of an audit. Still, knowing the state of affairs may help some who might be fretting to sleep a bit better at night.

Source: CBS News, “Chances of IRS tax audit are lowest in years,” The Associated Press, April 13, 2014

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