Understanding What Triggers An Iris Audit For Small Business

  • John A. Osborne
  • May 02, 2023
Small Business Insurance Mississippi

Small business owners need to keep their financial records accurate and up-to-date to avoid the scrutiny of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS conducts audits to ensure that businesses comply with tax rules and regulations. An audit can be stressful, time-consuming, and costly, and it is essential to understand what triggers an audit to avoid potential problems. In this article, we will discuss several topics related to what triggers an Iris audit for small business.

1. Inconsistent or Unreported Income

One of the most common triggers for an IRS audit is inconsistent or unreported income. The IRS uses computer algorithms to compare the income reported on tax returns with other sources, such as W-2 forms and 1099s. If the numbers don’t match or if there is a significant difference, it can raise red flags and trigger an audit. Small businesses that receive payments in cash, such as restaurants or retail stores, need to be especially careful about properly recording and reporting all income.

2. Large Deductions or Business Losses

Small business owners can claim deductions for many expenses, such as rent, utilities, advertising, and employee salaries. However, claiming large deductions or reporting significant business losses can raise suspicion and trigger an Iris audit. The IRS may want to see evidence of the expenses claimed, such as receipts, invoices, or bank statements. Small businesses need to keep accurate records of all expenses and be able to prove that they are legitimate business expenses.

3. Filing Errors or Late Tax Returns

Small businesses that make mistakes on tax returns or file late can also trigger an Iris audit. Filing errors can include simple mistakes, such as incorrect calculations or typos, or more serious errors, such as claiming ineligible deductions or credits. Late filing can also raise questions about a business’s financial situation and compliance with tax laws. Small businesses need to file their tax returns on time and review them carefully to avoid errors that can trigger an audit.

4. Industry-Specific Issues

Some industries are more likely to be audited than others, depending on the nature of their business and the type of deductions they claim. For example, businesses in the construction industry that rely heavily on subcontractors and independent contractors may be subject to increased scrutiny. Similarly, businesses that claim home-office deductions, such as freelancers or consultants, may be audited more frequently. Small businesses need to be aware of the specific tax rules and regulations that apply to their industry and take extra precautions to avoid triggering an audit.


In conclusion, small business owners need to be aware of what triggers an Iris audit to avoid potential problems with the IRS. Inconsistent or unreported income, large deductions or business losses, filing errors or late tax returns, and industry-specific issues can all raise red flags and trigger an audit. Small businesses need to keep accurate records and comply with tax laws to avoid the stress and expense of an audit.

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