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What are the chances of an IRS audit and should I worry?

Most people don't cheat on their taxes. The forms aren't all that easy to comprehend and fill out, even if you are a certified public accountant, so someone in Minnesota might innocently make a mistake in calculations or reporting. None of that means much, however, if you receive notification from the IRS that you are being audited.

Fear can strike deep when an official IRS audit letter arrives. Very often the first reaction is likely to be to ask, "Why me?" Indeed, according to a recent survey by the financial website NerdWallet found that 11 percent of respondents are afraid of being audited. Meanwhile, nearly 70 percent have a general concern about just preparing their taxes and 17 percent fret over making a mistake.

But the fact of the matter is that the odds are only about one in a100 that you will find yourself subject to an IRS going over. That's a better chance than of you winning a lottery, but it's still pretty low. And if you do happen to be tapped, taking advantage of a free consultation with an experienced tax attorney may help deflate some of your anxiety.

The IRS is fairly transparent when it comes to providing a view into its audit practices. It's 2014 Data Book revealed that if you made up to $199,000 dollars that year, the odds of being audited were less than 1 percent. Income earners who reported from $200,000 up to $499,000 only faced the chance of an audit of less than 2 percent. If you reported an income between $25,000 and $199,000, the chance of an audit neared one-half of 1 percent.

It's apparent from this that an audit by the IRS doesn't have to mean the end of the world. But if one happens and negotiating a settlement becomes crucial, speaking with an attorney is often a positive step to take.

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