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How Long Can the IRS Audit My Tax Returns?


The IRS generally has three years after a tax return is filed to audit that tax return and to assess additional tax against you. However, if there is a substantial omission of gross income on the tax return (25% or more), the IRS has six years after the tax return is filed to audit that tax return and to assess additional tax liability against you. Finally, the IRS can assess tax against you at any time if no tax return is filed or if there is fraud or an attempt to evade or defeat the tax on the return that was filed.

Case study: Attorney Representation Limits Audit to Only One YearIn this case study, the IRS chose to audit our taxpayer’s federal Form 1040 tax return for a particular year. Our taxpayer also owned and operated his own business. This business was listed on a Schedule C on his federal Form 1040 tax return. Prior to the audit, we thoroughly analyzed the taxpayer’s tax return to identify what we believed to be the problem areas. In this fashion, we were ready for the audit with the IRS, especially if it veered into the problem areas. We met with the auditor over several days and were able to limit the audit to only a few small issues. Further, we were able to persuade the IRS to not expand the audit to include any other year. Our taxpayer was very happy with the result we were able to obtain on his behalf and the audit is now closed.

When conducting an audit, the IRS typically starts its examination with one year. If the audit for that year reveals no problems, the IRS may close the audit without expanding it to other years. If the IRS finds discrepancies within that year it often expands the audit to include other years, typically to a total of three years. The tax lawyers at the IRS Trouble Solvers™ have successfully represented many taxpayers under IRS audit since its inception in 1991. If you are under audit, or have received a notice that you are going to be audited, call us. We can help. Call Us Before the IRS Calls You!®

Chicago Area Tax Attorneys

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