Updated: May 6, 2024

Tax Audit Guides & Information on Income Tax Audits

irs tax audits

Everyone has heard the statistics about tax audits and how it is very unlikely to receive one in a given tax year, but over your lifetime it is more likely than not that you will get audited. Whether you are currently being audited, you want to prevent an audit, need help with an audit, or just want general information on an audit, you will find everything you need below.

Initial Audit Contact 

If the IRS selects your tax return for an audit, the agency will send you an initial audit contact letter. The agency always reaches out through the mail, not over the phone or in person. There are a few different audit contact notices, but one of the most common is the 566 series of letters. The IRS sends many different 566 letters, and they all feature letters after the numbers that indicate the type of audit or type of return being audited. 

Avoid Tax Audit: Tips on How to Avoid IRS Audits

Everyone has heard the horror stories about tax audits. These are some tips to keep in mind when you are filing your taxes or doing financial planning, in order to limit your chances of getting audited. A basic understanding of how the IRS audit process works and what they look for can significantly reduce your chances of getting audited by avoiding the common mistakes most people make and end up getting audited.

IRS Audit Tips: Advice on Beating & Surviving a Tax Audit

Two goals you should have when going through an audit are to minimize the financial impact of the audit and to prevent the IRS from investigating beyond the original items selected for audit. There are no clear-cut formulas to an audit, an audit is more like a game filled with many different strategies. These tips can help ensure the financial impact of an IRS audit is minimal.

Help! I'm Being Audited But I Don't Have Receipts

During an audit, you verify the claims you made on your tax return to the IRS. This can be difficult if you don't have receipts. This guide explains how you can reconstruct expenses if you're facing an audit without receipts. It also outlines how to invoke the Cohan rule if you're in this situation. 

IRS Audit Procedure: Guidelines for IRS Audits

Understand how the audit process works. Know how and why tax returns are selected for an IRS audit. Once a tax return is filed it will go through a series of computer programs to check for the likelihood of errors. Depending upon what kind of errors the IRS believes you have made it will send a letter and say what kind of audit they are planning on doing. Understand basically how an audit works and what to expect after the audit has been completed.


IRS Audit Red Flags: Understand Who & When the IRS Audits

Audit flags are another name for factors that increase the score your tax return gets when it is processed by the IRS computers or is reviewed manually by an IRS employee. Many of these red flags can be avoided, while some cannot. Being aware of common red flags while completing your tax return can significantly reduce your chances of an audit. If some of these red flags cannot be avoided for you remember to keep as much support for those items as you can to make your life easier if you do get audited.

IRS Audit Reconsideration Request Guide

IRS audit reconsideration is a process where a taxpayer can have the IRS review an audit that has already been completed. The irs audit reconsideration request must be made in writing and should include new information or documentation that was not available at the time of the original audit. The IRS will then take a look at the case and determine if the original audit conclusions were correct. If the IRS decides that the original audit was incorrect, they will make the necessary adjustments. The IRS audit reconsideration process can be very beneficial for taxpayers who believe that they have been unfairly audited. However, it is important to note that the irs does not guarantee that they will reconsider your case or that they will change their original decision. Learn more about the audit reconsideration procedure, when, how, and where to submit an IRS audit reconsideration, as well as the paperwork that must be sent.

Employee Retention Credit (ERC) Audits

The IRS audits payroll tax returns with employee retention credits (ERC) at a higher rate than most other payroll tax returns. The above resource explains why the IRS audits these credits so aggressively, how to reduce your audit risk, and what to do if you're selected for an audit. It also explains ERC audit penalties.  

Guide to IRS Form 4549 - Income Tax Examination Changes

If the IRS reviews your return and decides to make a change. the IRS will send you IRS form 4549. This form will go over the IRS's proposed changes to your tax return as well as the change to the amount you owe (or possible refund). This form will also give you the ability to request an audit reconsideration. This guide will go over what to expect when you receive this form and how to respond

IRS Audit Statute of Limitations: Years Back IRS Audits Tax Returns

The IRS has strict rules on when it can audit a tax return. Know when you can stop worrying about a tax return that you filed in the past. There are actually 3 different statutes that apply to tax returns being audited and they are based upon the severity of the “mistakes” that were made. Most of the time the IRS will only have 3 years to audit a return, but if you don’t hear from the IRS within 18 months, it is very unlikely that your return will be selected for an audit.

IRS Audit Statistics: Rates and Chances of Receiving a Tax Audit

Statistically, the average person only has a 1% chance of getting audited. This 1% is only the average of all different income levels. Individuals that report higher income are more than twice as likely to get audited as people with lower income. Here are some statistics on IRS audits based upon income class and filing type.

IRS Audit Letter: Understanding Your Tax Audit Notification

The standard way for the IRS to communicate before and after a tax audit is through various IRS audit letters. Understand the various letters that the IRS will send to you, what they mean, and what actions must be taken on your part after receiving one of them. It is important these notices don’t go overlooked because most of them will require you to take action.

Information Document Request (IDR) and Form 4564

An IDR is a primary tool for the IRS to obtain information for a taxpayer under audit. The IRS will issue such information requests on form 4564. Understand how IDR requests work, how to respond, what happens if you don't respond, and why you should consider hiring a tax professional to help with these types of requests.

IRS Summons: Why the IRS Sends and What to Do If You Receive One

The IRS issues summons to people who are being investigated or might have important information related to an investigation of another entity. This guide covers the various types of summons, what to do if you receive a summons, what happens if you ignore it, and a guide to responding to one.

IRS Audit Penalties – Possible Penalties From An Adverse Tax Audit

If the IRS audits your tax return and finds some inaccuracies, you most likely will owe taxes, along with additional penalties and interest. Find out some common IRS penalties and potential criminal charges you would be facing.

Tax Audit Help: IRS Audit Defense, Assistance & Representation

Do you need help defending against an IRS audit? Understand how we can help connect you with a tax professional to either give you audit assistance or audit representation. Using a tax professional can significantly increase your chances of getting a better outcome. Audits are stressful and time-consuming. 

Does Tax Topic 151 Mean I'm Being Audited?

Tax Topic 151 is not the same as an audit. If you see this code on the IRS's website when you're waiting for your tax refund, it means the IRS has frozen your refund and is reviewing your return. This is not an audit, but you may be asked to provide additional information. Additionally, if the IRS finds any issues during the review, the agency may decide to move forward with an audit. 

Tax Audit Attorney

Find out when you should hire a tax audit attorney for help with an IRS or state tax audit. Get tips on selecting an audit attorney. Find out how to find the best audit representation near you.

If you are looking for a licensed tax professional to help with a tax audit, review this list of tax professionals who have experience resolving IRS audits, or start a search below and click "audit or examination" using the filter on the search page called "IRS Problem Experience."


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