Federal tax returns are due Monday and some people may stress out that they will face an audit from the Internal Revenue Service. One-in-four Americans fear they will be audited, according to Lexington Law. Men and the elderly are even more concerned. But it turns out there are a lot of random life events that could happen to you well before you are ever audited.
According to Sports Insider, the odds of being audited are 1-in-172. Here are some of the things that are more likely to happen to you than an audit.
- Meeting your spouse on a blind date: 1-in-35
- Being selected as a contestant on "The Price Is Right": 1-in-36
- Qualifying for Mensa, the society for people with high IQs: 1-in-50
- Serving on a jury: 1-in-50
- Being killed in a car crash: 1-in-111
Still, there are things you can do to decrease your risk even more. One of the big ones is being sure all your information is filled out correctly. Filing your taxes electronically is better than filing on paper because of fewer errors. According to TurboTax, the IRS reports the error rate on a paper return is 21% while the error rate on an e-filed return is 0.5%.
If you're due a refund, filing electronically can usually get you your money within three weeks. Filing by paper can take much longer.
If you're someone in the low-income bracket who takes the Earned Income Credit, you have a much higher likelihood of being audited. According to ProPublica, EIC recipients were audited at twice the rate of taxpayers who made between $200,000 and $500,000.