How long can a tax audit last?

December 07, 2022 by Kate Ferreira, CTEC
Clock concept of never ending time

When filing your tax returns each year, there is one thing that most people worry about: being audited. While the IRS sends out notices and audits for a multitude of different reasons, at the end of the day, everyone can universally agree that a tax audit is not pleasant experience.

Unfortunately, if you have found yourself in the situation where you received the dreaded white envelope with the letters “IRS” stamped across the top left-hand side – you will have a lot of questions. Your first question will likely be, “Why me”? But once the initial shock wears off and the horror sets in, you will have another question that stands out the most: “How long is this going to take?” After all, the past few years have not been a joyride and you are on the lookout for normalcy and time with friends and family.

And that is a great question! However, it is not one that can be simply answered. If you have searched on the internet for a cut-and-dry answer to this question, you might have found some articles that state it takes no more than four to six months for an audit to be completed. Some may even say it takes less than that. Sadly, this is not always the case.

The length of an audit depends on many factors. According to the IRS website, “The length varies depending on the type of audit; the complexity of the issues; the availability of information requested; the availability of both parties for scheduling meetings; and your agreement or disagreement with the findings”.

Something that also needs to be taken into consideration is the time it takes for the IRS to review submitted documentation, should you decide respond to the audit. When the IRS was shut down due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it was taking upwards of six months for the IRS just to acknowledge the responses they received – and this was not including the additional time it was taking them to work the case.

We understand this is not the best news to hear. The thought of an audit dragging on for months –maybe even a year or more – is downright dreadful. If you add in the prospect of dealing with the IRS alone, you have the makings for a really sad song. However, there is a silver lining in all of this.

We are here to help! TaxAudit handles more audits and notices than any other tax firm – after all, we have helped over 350,000 clients with their tax needs! Not only that, but we have over three decades of tax help expertise, with over 41,800 hours of tax training under our belt. To say that tax audits are our thing is an understatement!

The best part of working with TaxAudit is that you won’t have to face the IRS or state tax agencies alone. We will handle all audit communications with the IRS or state tax authorities on your behalf — from the first notice to the resolution of your tax matter. In the event that a face-to-face audit is required, we even attend on your behalf!

To get the peace of mind that comes with purchasing audit defense, click here to get signed up today.



Kate Ferreira
Communications Associate


Kate Ferreira is a Communications Associate with TaxAudit. A California Tax Education Council (CTEC) registered tax professional, Kate has been with the organization since 2015. Kate enjoys the challenge of writing about complex issues – including taxes. Outside of work she enjoys traveling, listening to vinyl, and going on adventures with her dog, Indiana Bones.


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