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14 IRS Audit Red Flags for Retirees

November 12, 2021

From the Kiplinger website

You may be wondering about your odds of an IRS audit. Most people can breathe easy. The vast majority of individual returns escape the IRS audit machine. In 2019, the IRS audited only 0.4% of all individual tax returns, and 80% of these exams were conducted by mail, meaning most taxpayers never met with an IRS agent in person. The individual audit rate is even lower for 2020.

You may be wondering about your odds of an IRS audit. Most people can breathe easy. The vast majority of individual returns escape the IRS audit machine. In 2019, the IRS audited only 0.4% of all individual tax returns, and 80% of these exams were conducted by mail, meaning most taxpayers never met with an IRS agent in person. The individual audit rate is even lower for 2020.

That said, your chances of being audited or otherwise hearing from the IRS escalate depending on various factors. Obviously, failing to report income shown on 1099s and W-2s will increase your audit chances. Math errors may draw IRS inquiry (although they’ll rarely lead to a full-blown exam). Claiming certain tax deductions is something else that can trigger a closer look at your return. Other actions or activities can boost the odds of an audit, too. So, to be on the safe side, retirees should check out these 14 red flags that could increase the chances that the IRS will give your return unwelcome attention.

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