The One Thing IRS Agents Don’t Have Time for This Year

Anna Williams
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tax audit riskIf you filed your return on time but aren’t sure if everything was quite right in your rush to get it out the door, relax: The chances of the IRS hunting you down for an explanation are slimmer than ever this year.

In 2013, less than 1% of all individual taxpayers were audited by the IRS. This year, the odds are looking even more in your favor.

Due to a slashed budget, the IRS has fewer agents auditing returns this tax season than it has had at any time since at least the 1980s, the Associated Press reports. And with the agency increasingly focusing on only the most egregious returns, Joe Taxpayer may be cut some slack this year.

“We keep going after the people who look like the worst of the bad guys,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told the AP. “But there are going to be some people that we should catch, either in terms of collecting the revenue from them or prosecuting them, that we’re not going to catch.”

Still, technology has made it easier overall for the IRS to do its policing. For example, many forms of income and expenses are automatically reported to the government. So if, say, the income you report on your own return doesn’t match up with what your employer independently disclosed, the IRS computers should automatically flag that.

Of course, we’d still recommend aiming for a flawless return—no matter the number of IRS agents on the job. So, if you’re scrambling to wrap up your return by tomorrow’s deadline, make sure you’re not making these last-minute mistakes or moves that could raise the IRS’s eyebrow.

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