According to recent statistics, your chances of being audited by the IRS are less than 1%. Sound like a non-event to you? Don’t be lured into a false sense of security. The statistic is a blended rate covering many types of incomes and taxpayers. Here are some of the reasons returns were audited:
No adjusted gross income. For AGI of zero, audit risk jumped to over 5%. The IRS benchmarks AGI because it is total income including losses from businesses and investments.
Large adjusted gross income. Audit risk was nearly 2% for returns with AGI over $200,000. Audit risk climbed to 16% when AGI was $10 million or more.
International returns. Due to a focus on offshore tax evasion, the audit rate of international returns was almost 5%.
Estate taxes. Approximately 8.5% of estate returns were audited. Gross estates of $10 million or more were tagged with a 27% audit risk.
Corporation tax. Small corporations experienced up to a 2% audit risk. The risk for large corporations with assets over $20 billion was 85%.
The need for good records. Be aware that even if you don’t fit into any of these categories, your return may still be selected for audit. That’s one reason it’s essential to keep good records to support all deductions and credits you claim on your tax return for at least three years after filing. Examples of required record keeping include:
When you deduct expenses for meals and entertainment, the written evidence must show who was in attendance and what business was discussed.
A home office deduction must have evidence showing your home office is used regularly and exclusively as the principal place of business.
Certain non-business property that you gift, donate, or intend to pass through your estate requires an appraisal.
Please contact Cray Kaiser for more information about tax audit issues.