The tax man may be a little more intimidating this year, for many small-business owners.
Faris Fink, head of the Internal Revenue Service's small business/self-employed division, told attendees at the American Institute of CPAs National Tax Conference last fall that the government would be shifting its top audit priority away from corporations. Now, they will be keen to examine returns from partnerships as well as S corporations, sole proprietorships and other pass-through entities.
But getting audited still isn't a big risk. "The percentage is very, very, very small," said Melanie Lauridsen, a technical manager with the AICPA.
The IRS is both underfunded and short-staffed, she said, which has resulted in falling audit rates in recent years. In 2013, S corporations and partnerships both had audit rates of 0.42 percent, down from 0.5 percent in 2012. Corporations with assets of less than $10 million had an audit rate of 0.95 percent, down from 1.1 percent a year earlier, while individuals filing a Schedule C or E saw audit rates ranging from 1.2 percent to 3.6 percent.
(Read more: Plan now to avoid tax surprises)