It’s tax preparation time again, which means it’s time to collect your records and hope for the best. it’s also a time when taxpayers quake at the thought of a potential audit.
The good news is your odds of being audited are low: In 2012, the latest year for which the IRS has released data, just 1 percent of all taxpayers were audited. And really, honest taxpayers have nothing to fear but inconvenience from an audit.
“To me, the real question is not how do I avoid an audit but how do I make sure I’m ready for an audit,” said Jackie Perlman, principal tax research analyst at H&R Block’s Tax Institute.
Still, it’s worth knowing what elements in your filing might catch the eye of the IRS. This year, there are some long-standing potential triggers, but also some new ones.