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What will cause tax officials to conduct an audit?

For any number of reasons, a person may not be able to complete his or her income tax filing in time for the standard April 15 deadline. If this is the case, then the Internal Revenue Service may be willing to allow a 6-month extension, which would require individuals to file by October 15. As the extension deadline approaches, many may be wondering what impact the modified due date will have.

One of the biggest concerns with filing taxes at any time is that the IRS will pursue a tax audit. Fortunately, receiving a tax extension alone does not increase a person's risk of being audited, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Tax observers note, however, that paying taxes late (no matter the deadline) is likely to raise red flags with the Internal Revenue Service. Failing to meet the standard or extended deadline could expose a person to an audit, which is undoubtedly a stressful experience.

Overall, the IRS still only audits 1 percent of those who file federal income taxes. Most of these issues can be resolved via mail, yet there is always concern that an in-person audit will take place. Even if an audit only takes place by mail, it may be helpful to consult with an attorney who can provide sound advice and help respond to charges made by the IRS.

People may become the subject of an audit despite completing tax forms to the best of their ability. Seeking assistance can help bring an audit to a swift, lasting conclusion.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Filing Time Doesn't Affect Tax Audits," Tom Herman, Aug. 18, 2013

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