Tax season is in full swing and as the April 15, 2013 deadline approaches citizens are faced with the usual stress and uncertainly of filing under the IRS' ever changing set of tax guidelines. Understating the complexities of the tax world is often left up to the professionals but even with their help it does not guarantee avoiding an audit on this year's tax return. The IRS randomly picks tens of thousands of returns every year to put through the incredibly frustrating and time-consuming process of a tax audit. There are, however, measures you can take to reduce the risk of being red flagged by the IRS.

Here are five simple tips to help you avoid an IRS audit this tax season:

• 1. Don't rush the process - The deadline may seem fast approaching and the sooner you file the sooner you get your return but taking your time can help avoid simple errors that maybe overlooked.

• 2. Stay organized - To ensure you get all the deductions you're entitled to you must be prepared to back it up. Documentation is vital, don't throw supporting tax documents away after filing as the IRS typically has up to three years to audit any return.

• 3. Report all forms of income - Any source of income is considered taxable. If you earned money, the government wants to know about it. Do not assume that if you did not receive a reporting form for income gained that one wasn't already filed with the IRS.

• 4. File electronically - E-filing is simpler for you as well as the IRS and often produces less errors and faster refunds.

• 5. Don't be afraid to ask for help - tax law can be extremely confusing for those inexperienced. For professionals tax season is a year-round process of studying tax code and law changes. Most tax law professionals will be well versed in exactly what tax breaks and deductions you are eligible for.

According to the IRS, an average of just over one in one hundred returns is selected to be audited. While there is no guarantee your return will avoid being selected, these steps can help to reduce the risk of being flagged.

Source:, "10 tips to avoid an IRS audit," Stacy Johnson, Feb. 20, 2013