IRS Audit FAQ
How likely am I to get charged with criminal tax fraud?
9. How likely am I to get charged with criminal tax fraud?
Not very. The chance that any taxpayer will be investigated for tax fraud any time during his or her life is less than 2%. Less than 0.00006% of all taxpayers are investigated in any given year. And if you are investigated, the likelihood of a civil fine or criminal charge is under 20%. The unofficial minimum amount of taxes owed before the IRS will file criminal fraud charges is over $70,000, in cases involving at least three years of fraud. To some extent, whether you are charged depends on your line of work. Many of those prosecuted for tax fraud work in organized crime or are public figures. For more articles and information, see the Tax Audits section of the Nolo website.
For detailed information on all aspects of IRS audits, see Stand Up to the IRS, by attorney Frederick W. Daily (Nolo).