Few Arkansas residents have their tax returns audited by the Internal Revenue Service, but sometimes, certain things on your tax return might pique the administration’s interests or warrant it taking a second look. In rare cases, you may also find yourself the subject of an IRS audit, not because you did anything suspicious, but because the IRS picked you at random.
Regardless of why the IRS decides to audit you, U.S. News and World Report notes that you may feel less stress and more confidence heading into the audit if you know what to expect. If the IRS does decide to audit you, you should expect to receive notification in the form of a letter, rather than an email or text. You may then have to participate in one of three types of audits.
The correspondence audit
Usually conducted entirely by mail, a correspondence audit might occur if the IRS wants you to turn over additional documentation to back up what you entered on your tax return.
The office audit
When the IRS needs more information from you than you are able to realistically provide via mail, you may need to visit a local IRS office for an in-person audit. Such meetings tend to last between about two and four hours.
The field audit
Often thought of as the most anxiety-inducing audit type, field audits often involve the IRS taking a deep dive into your business or personal finances – or both. This often involves IRS representatives coming to your home and place of employment.
Research shows that the IRS only audits about 0.4% of all tax returns received. The majority of people who do have their returns audited wind up making changes to those returns in the aftermath.