Why the IRS Audits Tax Returns, its big business.


Although there are a variety of reasons listed below some are the most common.


a. Front Loaded Programs


Front Loaded programs are those tax audits that IRS DC headquarters has determined are very important and a considerable amount of time must be spent on these programs and activities. Each area has discussions within management as to what the programs should be for each region, district, and office.

Some of the programs are:


• Special enforcement programs – An example of this may be compliance of all flee market vendors, a program I was involved with

• High Income non-filers – The IRS would get their information from a match program of w-2’s and 1099’s and match up social security numbers against filed returns

• Abusive Tax Avoidance – This could be in the area of offshore activities

• Offshore credit card program

• National Research programs – Those set forth by management after doing a trends project

• FBAR filing – IRS is currently targeting those with overseas bank accounts

• Non- filers – IRS is presently forming a task force to seek non-filers though aggressive means.


b. The IRS makes sure there is balanced coverage.


The National Office makes sure there is a balanced approach for audit return delivery and tax compliance. Resources and inventory and the size of personnel all go into this formula.

IRS focuses are blended into these areas:Many years the focus changes.

1. individual returns less than $100,000.

2. individual returns greater than $100,000 but less than $200,000.

3. individual returns greater than $ 200,000.

4. Small Business Corporations.

5. Small Business Flow-Through Entities – S Corporations, Fiduciaries and Partnerships.


c. Classification Plan


The IRS will prepare a plan, which is classified. A National DIF score indicator is placed on all Federal Income tax returns that are filed.

Each tax return has certain factors that contribute to its score such as Gross Income, Adjusted Gross Income and line item expense.

There are several classified secrets that go into the DIF score.It is like knowing the formula for Coca-Cola. the bottom line to DIF scores is simple, if you fall too far out of the national averages there’s a likelihood of an IRS tax audit. Keep in mind less than 1% of all taxpayers get audited by the IRS. However it is not wise to pay the IRS tax audit lottery.

Each tax return is processed through the IRS computer line item by line item.
A DIF score label is placed on every tax return with its DIF number.

A tax examiner or Revenue Agent manually eyeballs each and every tax return with a high DIF score.

The examiner then determine which return has the highest probability of tax audit success.


d. DIF Cutoff Score, this is the most common reason for audit. each and every tax return has a DIF score, this stands for discriminatory index function.


The IRS will calculate the Area DIF cutoff score for each activity code, giving consideration to the selection rate.

This is the lowest DIF score necessary to secure the number of returns required for audit. for example, if the return plan shows 225 returns for an activity code and the selection rate is 70%, the IRS will need to order 321 returns (225/70%).


The DIF Cut off Score is 500. The number of returns with DIF scores greater than 550 is 280, which is less than the number of returns required, so the lowest DIF score on an ordered return will be in the range of 500 to 550 and the DIF cutoff score is 500.


All tax returns are graded by the Internal Revenue Service. That’s right, each and every tax return has a DIF score. There is a label placed on the back of every tax return that grades audit potential.

Much of the audit numbers are predicated on the budget that Congress gives to the IRS. right now the budget is very low for IRS audit so less and less tax returns will be audited.

Over the last couple years the number of audits are going down by small percentages simply because they do not have working staff to handle all the IRS audits that are truly needed. It is not wise to play the audit lottery.

Call us today for a free initial tax consultation and we will review your tax returns, go over best case scenarios and talk about your IRS tax defense for an IRS audit.


Since 1982, we have been serving South Florida.

When you call our office you will speak to a true IRS tax professional with years of direct experience.



You might also like

1 Step 1
Consult Former IRS Agent!
To tackle your IRS Notice smartly.


Mr. Michael D. Sullivan

Michael D. Sullivan is the founder of MD Sullivan Tax Group. He had a distinguished career with the Internal Revenue Service for 10 years. As a veteran IRS Revenue Officer / Agent, he served as an Offer in Compromise Tax Specialist and Large Dollar Case Specialist.

Next Post
Ft.Lauderdale + IRS Tax Audit Defense, Representation + Christian Tax Services + Tax Debt Settlements
Previous Post
Fort Lauderdale + AFFORDABLE IRS Tax Audit Help & Tax Audit Representation +Use Former IRS Audit Managers & Agents + IRS TaxAppeals Experts
Tags: Blog

More Similar Posts