As a general rule, the IRS has three years to audit a Georgia resident’s tax return. However, the IRS has six years to audit a tax return if an individual failed to report at least 25% of his or her income. The government also has six years to audit a return if a person significantly misrepresented the cost basis of an item that was sold for a profit.
Those who earn income in another country typically have to claim it on a federal tax return. Taxpayers typically have to report an ownership stake in a foreign company or any gifts that they receive from a foreign national. If an individual fails to report $5,000 or more in foreign income on a personal tax return, the IRS can audit that return for up to six years. There is no limit on how long the tax agency has to audit a return missing form related to owning a foreign company or receiving gifts from foreigners.
It is important to understand that the audit clock typically begins on the date that a personal income tax return was due as opposed to when it was filed. The IRS can also ask taxpayers to extend the statute of limitations by a year if it feels like more time is needed to conduct a thorough audit.
Those who are going through the audit process are generally allowed to hire an attorney to help with their cases. An attorney may be able to help a taxpayer gather evidence that might be used to verify that a deduction was legitimate or that an individual reported all of his or her income. In some cases, audits result in taxpayers seeing no change in their tax return or obtaining a larger refund from the federal government.