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Things to remember about tax audits

Many people in Georgia may be getting ready to file their tax returns in January. Though the possibility of an IRS audit is a concern for a lot of people, the chances of actually getting audited are very slim. Because the IRS has fewer employees than it has ever had before, most audits are resolved through the mail.

The people who are the most likely to be audited by the IRS are people who report no income or have an annual income that is over $500,000. People who report annual earnings between $1 and $199,999 have less than a one percent chance of being audited. A person's chances of making errors that could lead to an IRS audit go up significantly if they use paper rather than electronic methods to file their own income report.

A person who is being audited usually doesn't have to schedule a face-to-face meeting with an IRS agent. Instead, the IRS will conduct a correspondence audit in which the taxpayer is asked to send in additional documentation to support their income report. An audit usually occurs within two years after an income report is filed, though the IRS does have the authority to question tax returns that are up to six years old.

An individual who has been targeted for an IRS audit may want to speak to an attorney about their situation. If the matter can be resolved by mail, an attorney may help the taxpayer send in the appropriate documentation. When a tax audit case leads to a criminal inquiry, an attorney may represent the taxpayer and help them answer questions from investigators.

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