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Video instructions and help with filling out and completing Should i sign form 872
Instructions and Help about Should i sign form 872
Hi I'm Lawrence Lawler national director of the American Society of tax problem solvers this series is on how to prepare for an IRS audit the first thing that we're going to be discussing is the length of time that the IRS is able to audit your tax return that's commonly referred to as the statute of limitations the statute of limitations varies depending upon the situation the taxpayer finds themselves in normally for most taxpayers the statute runs three years and that would be three years from the due date of the tax return or the data was actually filed whichever is later so if you didn't file your return on time the three years that they are able to audit you didn't start until you actually filed it also if an extension was filed then the three years doesn't start until the extension due date so you could have a return run from April fifteenth for three years or from October fifteenth which is the extension due date for three years or in fact from any other date when you actually filed the return it would be later than those dates they have three years in which to audit the tax return under normal situations obviously every situation with the IRS is not normal you may get into a situation where the IRS could audit tax return for up to six years and that usually happens when there has been a material misstatement generally defined as twenty-five percent of income that was not reported so at that point time the IRS can show that there was a material misstatement that your income was under reported by twenty-five percent they actually had none have six years in which to audit you this does not involve fraud it's not a case that rises to the level of fraud that would be the third statute of limitations where the statute never starts to run because if a taxpayer files a fraudulent tax return the statute never runs in the IRS can look at that virtually forever my first recommendation is that you always file your tax return on time and if you can't get it in by the April fifteenth deadline to be sure and file an extension and get it filed before that extension runs out filing on time actually starts the statute running and is the best thing for the taxpayer even if you can't pay the taxes the recommendation is to file that return timely it first of all eliminates a penalty for failure to file even though the failure to pay penalty may continue to run but what if you can't pay the tax you owe way aren't you going to start the IRS chasing you at that point in time well the answer that is really yes in a way however it also is eliminating a lot of other problems first of all the taxpayer cannot be found to be fraudulent in any way if.