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Chance Of Being Audited Is Greater Than You Think

What’s your chance of being audited? If you’ve read IRS statistics, you might think the chance is minuscule — about one in 100. Dive deeper into the agency’s enforcement report, and you’d think that the chance of a middle-income person like you — someone earning between $25,000 and $100,000 — being subject to an audit would be far more rare, hitting just six or seven taxpayers in 1,000. But a top government official maintains that those statistics, while accurate, are misleading — reflecting only interactions that IRS defines as formal audits.
In reality, your chance of getting “touched” by the IRS in a way that feels like an audit — but (disturbingly) provides few of the taxpayer protections of an audit — is many times greater, says Nina Olson, who serves as the nation’s Taxpayer Advocate, a federal position aimed at helping taxpayers solve their problems with the IRS.