Will The IRS Audit Me?

According to the Internal Revenue Service Data Book for 2016 approximately 1.2 million of the returns filed in calendar year 2015 were audited or .60 (.006) of all returns filed in that year. The audit rate for an individual income tax return filed in calendar year 2015 was .70 (.007).

In the audit lottery, however, not all taxpayers get an equal shot at the chance of audit. As it turns out those who reported no adjusted gross income or under $25,000 of adjusted gross income had a higher chance of being audited than those whose adjusted gross income was between $25,000 and $200,000. It should come as no surprise that the chance of getting audited by the IRS depends on the amount of adjusted gross income. The table below shows that once adjusted gross income climbs to over $1,000,000 the chances of an IRS audit become much more likely.

Size of Adjusted Gross Income    Examination Coverage 2016 Fiscal Year

No adjusted gross income              3.25

$1 under $25,000               0.80

$25,000 under $50,000              0.49

$50,000 under $75,000              0.41

$75,000 under $100,000              0.52

$100,000 under $200,000              0.62

$200,000 under $500,000              1.01

$500,000 under $1,000,000              2.06

$1,000,000 under $5,000,000              4.60

$5,000,000 under $10,000,000             10.46

$10,000,000 or more              18.79


Taxpayers will be happy to know that the chance of getting audited in fiscal year 2015 was .84. Thus, the fiscal year 2016 audit rate represents a decrease in the chance of getting audited. The truth of the matter is that the chance of an audit has been dropping continually. In fiscal year 2011 over 1.5 million individual income tax returns were audited. In fiscal year 2016 the number of individual income tax returns audited was 1.2 million. This trend is not expected to change in the near future.

    If you are unlucky enough to win the IRS audit lottery I am always available to discuss your case and help you protect your rights.

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