Taxes: Audit odds

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Anchor Intro: Being rich has some fairly obvious advantages. But there are also drawbacks. For example, this time of year when a big income may mean bigger odds of an audit. Bankrate takes a look at your Audit Odds.

Voiceover 1: Odds are good that you’ll never get rich by playing the lottery.

Voiceover 2: But if you’re already rich, your odds of a tax audit are much better than you might think.

Voiceover 3: In 2007, the IRS collected nearly $59 billion from both corporations and individuals: $10 billion more than in ’06. They audited about 1 percent of individual returns … or about 1.4 million in all.

Voiceover 4: But all taxpayers aren’t treated equally. More 9 percent of people reporting more than $1 million in income were audited … nearly 1 in 10. Only 1.8 percent of those with more than $100 grand in income got that dreaded letter. And less than 1 percent of those with income less than $100 grand were examined.

Voiceover 5: But don’t assume that means that meager income means you’re automatically off the hook. The IRS also likes to call on cash earners, like servers and hair stylists even if they’re not big fish.

Voiceover 6: Another likely target? The self-employed. Especially those who make math mistakes on their returns, claim business losses or deduct far-fetched business expenses.

Anchor Tag: If you’ve already cashed that refund check, that doesn’t mean you can stop sweating. The IRS can go back three years after you file a return to decide if it needs further explanation. For, I’m Kristin Arnold.