SOURCE: National Association for the Self-Employed

National Association for the Self-Employed

March 23, 2011 11:28 ET

Self-Employed: How to Survive an Audit

Math Errors Are Among the Most Common Mistakes, Says NASE

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - March 23, 2011) - The IRS expects 145 million tax returns to be filed for the 2010 tax year and, of those, one in six will be self-employed Schedule C filers. A small percentage of those self-employed businesses will be subject to an audit each year.

The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) knows that many self-employed business owners meet their tax obligations fully, so the audit process need not be feared. The IRS can review tax returns for up to three years, so now is the time to make sure all of the necessary paperwork and documentation is stored with the 2010 tax return. 

"As long as taxpayers dot their I's and cross their T's when preparing their return, then there is no reason to worry about an audit," says NASE National Tax Advisor Keith Hall. "It's possible that you might even get a refund."

The audit selection process can be a complicated one. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Math Errors -- This is the most common reason for an audit. Check and re-check the return to make sure all numbers, dates and Social Security numbers are included. Using tax preparation software can help eliminate these errors.
  2. Prior Audits -- Prior audits and matching tax indicators (e.g. you have the same small business and same typical deductions), might increase the likelihood of being audited again. This is particularly true if last year's audit included an additional tax assessment.
  3. Statistical Sampling -- This accounts for most of the returns that are selected for an audit. The more complicated the tax return, the higher the chance of audit selection.

The NASE offers numerous tax tools and other tips to help you get through current and future tax seasons. For help organizing your taxes, visit the NASE's Tax Resource Center. NASE members can ask our Tax Experts their questions.

About the NASE

The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) is the nation's leading resource for the self-employed and micro-businesses, bringing a broad range of benefits to help entrepreneurs succeed and to drive the continued growth of this vital segment of the American economy. The NASE is a 501(c) (6) non-profit organization and provides big-business advantages to hundreds of thousands of micro-businesses across the United States. For more information, visit the association's web site at www.NASE.org.