It is known that the IRS generally audits tax returns based on discrepancies, but are people (including those who file correctly) still subjected to being randomly audited?

The National Research Program (NRP), was a strategy used by the IRS back in 2007, was aimed to supplicate and refresh the data the IRS uses to analyze tax payer compliance. Is the National Research program still in effect?

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    Anyone can be audited for any reason. That being said, generally they focus their resources on those who have a history of bad returns, those who have "questionable" or excessive deductions/losses, or those who take a Schedule C (self-employed) who show more loss than gain. None of these actually means the person is doing anything wrong, unless you are one of those chronic abusers mentioned earlier, but it could lend your return to being audited. Being audited in and of itself doesn't mean you have done anything wrong; just that things might require review according to the metrics of it. Apr 22, 2017 at 22:16

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From the IRS site -

Random selection and computer screening - sometimes returns are selected based solely on a statistical formula. We compare your tax return against “norms” for similar returns. We develop these “norms” from audits of a statistically valid random sample of returns, as part of the National Research Program the IRS conducts. The IRS uses this program to update return selection information.

Reading this carefully, it would be an honor for me to trip an audit for charitable deductions being outside the statistical norm. And yes, I have letters acknowledging every donation.

  • This used to be called (and maybe still is called) the TCMP (Taxpayer Compliance Measurement Program), and TCMP audits used to require the taxpayer to prove everything. MFJ return? Bring in your marriage certificate. Dependent children? Show their birth certificates and Social Security Cards, etc. And of course, letters acknowledging claimed charitable donations too Apr 22, 2017 at 22:58
  • It does not say that the National Research Program is still being conducted currently though. In that statement, they could have mentioned the end of the NRP and that the data they have already collected is being put into action, not that it is still ongoing.
    – Narcotixs
    Apr 22, 2017 at 23:06

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