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How Long Could the IRS Wait to Audit You?

Audio version available here (1 min. 45 sec.)


Many taxpayers can feel stressed about the possibility of being audited by the IRS, especially when they realize the IRS can retroactively audit you for a tax return filed years ago. However, there are rules and a timeline restriction in place for when the IRS must “close the audit”.


The Assessment Statute Expiration Date is the IRS’s statute of limitations for audits. The general statute of limitations for audits is three years from when you filed your tax return. Normally, taxpayers file their tax returns on April 15th, which means that the possibility of being selected for an audit will expire three years from that date. If you had an extension and instead filed your tax return in October, then the period begins on that date rather than April 15th.


There are cases where the statute of limitations goes beyond three years. For those who claim the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) in the “third or fourth quarters of 2021”, the statute of limitations is five years. For more information on the current situation surrounding the ERC, read our previous blog post.


Moreover, the IRS has a six year statute of limitations on taxpayers who engage in high risk behavior such as underreporting income. Finally, there are scenarios where the IRS has no time limit on selecting a taxpayer for an audit. When a taxpayer commits fraud or fails to file a tax return entirely, the IRS has no restriction for when they can conduct an audit. For those who do get audited, the IRS allows you to extend the “applicable limitations period” via Form 872, which can give you more time to prepare for the audit.


Ultimately, the best way to avoid the possibility of being audited is ensuring you are filing your taxes properly and on time. If you still need help with your 2023 taxes, contact XQ CPA’s tax team today. Give us a call or schedule a meeting with us online. We are here to help you.


Phone: 832-295-3353


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Want to pay less taxes? Read XQ CPA's official tax planning guidebook! How to Grow Your Wealth Through Tax Planning.

Close up of clipboard with piece of paper saying "AUDIT" in giant letters.

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