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How Likely Am I to Be Audited?

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By Christopher Coble, Esq. on April 10, 2015 10:56 AM

Whether you've already filed your taxes, or you're planning to right before the deadline, nobody wants to be audited by the IRS. Even if you let an accountant or some fancy new software file your taxes, you may still be worried about whether your filing was correct.

Well, the recent statistics on IRS audits have been released, and they might have something to say about how likely you are to get audited this year. Let's take a look:

Rich Audit, Poor Audit

Whether the IRS comes knocking this year may depend on how much money you made. According to Bloomberg's Ben Steverman:

Even in this era of IRS austerity, wealthier people still face more scrutiny than average. If you make $200,000 to $1 million annually, your chances of an audit are around 2.2 percent, more than double the average. It's even higher for the extra-wealthy--people who earn more than $1 million are audited at a rate of around 7.5 percent.

So if you made less than $200,000 last year, you can probably breathe a sigh of relief. And a 1 in 13 chance of an IRS audit can probably leave last year's millionaires breathing easy on their yachts.

No Audit?

While making more may increase your chance of an audit, a taxpayer's overall odds of IRS review have been steadily dropping. Steverman notes just "0.9 percent of individual taxpayers were audited last year, the lowest proportion in seven years."

This is part of a larger trend of dropping audit rates. Why are people getting audited less? Mostly because the IRS's budget has been declining -- 17 percent since 2010. The only group to see their audit rate rise were those living overseas and filing in the U.S.

There are some strategies to avoiding an income tax audit, like filing on time and making sure your filing is correct. And make sure you know what to do if the IRS audits you.

While audits are relatively rare (and getting rarer), if you have questions about your tax filing you may want to consult with an experienced tax attorney near you.

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