File Your Taxes Cheap, Or Even Free

How Likely Is An Audit?

BFAds 2015 Tax Help

The first way to save money on your taxes is to prepare and file them yourself. The number one impediment to doing your own taxes is the fear of making an unintentional mistake and/or getting audited. According to the IRS DataBook for 2013, there were 145,996,474 individual returns filed in 2013. Of those, 1,404,931 were audited. That is about 1% of all returns. If you look at the table on page 26, you can see the chances of an audit based on Adjusted Gross Income. It generally stays at about one half of one percent for people with Adjusted Gross Incomes between $25,000 and $200,000, which is about half of all returns.

One of the biggest "selling points" for using a professional to prepare your taxes is that, if you are audited, they will provide support during the process. As you already read, this is support for a process you are extremely unlikely to go through. Even if you get audited, chances are that it will be a generally painless process. You can review the flow chart on this IRS Pamphlet to see how an audit would proceed. To review our reasoning so far, it is unlikely that you would be audited, and even if you are, it's not anywhere near as traumatic as movies and TV make it seem.

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March 3, 2015
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