Can the IRS Audit You 3 Years in a Row?

Navigating IRS Audit Time Frames and Exceptions

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) plays a crucial role in ensuring compliance with tax laws and regulations. As part of its responsibilities, the IRS conducts audits to verify the accuracy of tax returns and assess potential discrepancies. Understanding the time frames and exceptions associated with IRS audits is essential for taxpayers to navigate the process effectively.

General Audit Time Frame

In most cases, the IRS has a three-year window to audit a tax return. This period begins from the date the return was filed or the due date for filing, whichever is later. Within this three-year window, the IRS can request additional information, examine records, and make adjustments to the tax liability.

Extended Audit Time Frame

In certain circumstances, the IRS may extend the audit period beyond three years. This typically occurs when the IRS identifies substantial errors or omissions on the tax return. The extended audit period can go back up to six years from the filing date or due date.

Unlimited Audit Time Frame

In rare cases, the IRS may have an unlimited amount of time to audit a tax return. This applies to situations where:

  • Unfiled Tax Return: If a taxpayer fails to file a tax return, the IRS has an indefinite period to audit the return once it is filed.

  • Fraud or Evasion: If the IRS has evidence of fraud or tax evasion, it can audit the return indefinitely, regardless of the time frame.

Multiple Audits in a Row

The IRS can conduct multiple audits of a taxpayer in a row. However, this is not a common practice. Generally, the IRS will focus on resolving the current audit before initiating a new one. However, if the IRS discovers new information or has reason to believe that previous audits were incomplete or inaccurate, it may conduct additional audits.

The IRS has a general three-year time frame to audit tax returns. However, this period can be extended to six years in cases of substantial errors or omissions. In rare cases, the IRS may have an unlimited amount of time to audit a return if it involves unfiled returns or fraud. While multiple audits in a row are possible, they are not common. Taxpayers should be aware of the IRS audit time frames and cooperate with the IRS during the audit process to ensure a fair and accurate resolution.

How Far Back Can The IRS Audit YOU? | Tax Lawyer David Greene Explains


Can I get audited 3 years in a row?

Yes, the IRS can audit you for several years in a row. However, if they have audited you on the same issue and you have won the dispute, they will be limited to how many times they can audit you.

How frequently can IRS audit you?

The IRS is not limited to the number of times they can audit you. If they decide that they want to audit you every year for the rest of your life, that’s in their power, absent and proving that a rogue IRS agent has a personal vendetta against you.

Can you be audited multiple times?

There is no limit on how many times the IRS may audit a taxpayer or audit tax returns. However, the IRS cannot audit you for a particular tax year again, unless you or the Secretary of the Treasury request the new audit.

What is the IRS repetitive audit policy?

The Internal Revenue Manual has a “repetitive examinations” procedure (IRM 4.10. 2.8. 5). This procedure states that if a taxpayer has been audited with no changes or just minor changes within the past two years on the same items being audited this year, the auditor is to cancel the audit.

How long can the IRS audit you?

The typical audit statute is for 3 years. In some circumstances such as foreign income or substantial underreporting, the IRS can audit you for 6 years. When the matter involves an unfiled tax return or civil tax fraud, the IRS can audit you, indefinitely. In other words, under the latter two scenarios, the statute of limitations would not expire.

How many years can a tax return be audited?

Generally, the IRS can include returns filed within the last three years in an audit. If we identify a substantial error, we may add additional years. We usually don’t go back more than the last six years. The IRS tries to audit tax returns as soon as possible after they are filed.

How long does it take to audit a tax return?

Here are the common IRS Statute lengths of time to audit. In most situations, the IRS can go back three years. That means if your 2016 tax return was due April 2017, the IRS has three years from April 2017 to audit you (if you file the return timely, either before or on the April due date).

Does the IRS need more time to audit?

Frequently, the IRS says it needs more time to audit. The IRS will ask you to sign a form extending the statute of limitations, usually for a year. If you don’t sign, the IRS will send you a tax bill, usually based on unfavorable assumptions. Most tax advisers generally tell clients to agree to the extension.

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