Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Some factors increase chance of audit

When it comes to income-tax audits, there’s usually safety in numbers.

In any given year, the odds suggest the Internal Revenue Service will select someone else’s return for a closer look, rather than yours.

The IRS said it audited more than 1million individuals in fiscal 2012 for the sixth year in a row, collecting more than $50 billion for the third consecutive year.

While those numbers might seem high, audit rates are really quite low — affecting just 1.03 percent of all tax returns filed. To put that into perspective, the IRS said it prevented fraudulent refund payments on three times as many returns, 3 million, stemming from the unlawful theft of Social Security numbers and other personal information from legitimate taxpayers.

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