What is an IRS Claim for Refund?

An IRS claim for refund is, in most cases, a form you file when you ask for money back that you overpaid to the IRS. The critical thing: A claim for refund is time-sensitive — essentially 3 years from the original due date of the return or 2 years from the date of payment. If you're too late, the IRS gets to keep your money.

Common Claim for Refund Straegies and Procedures

Personal and corporate tax claims for refund

If you believe you have overpaid your personal or corporate tax, you have a limited amount of time in which to file a claim for a credit for refund  —  You can claim a credit or refund by filing by an amended tax return. Note: the older an amended return, the longer you can expect the claim for refund to process. Your claim may be be reviewed by human eyes, so it may get extra scrutiny and support may have to be provided.

The important date however, is the date the IRS received that claim, not the date the figures are actually processed.

Claim for refund on for an IRS-prepared return

If you have been assessed taxes through the a Substitute Filed Return (SFR), that is, a tax return the IRS did for you, typically this SFR amount is higher than what it would be if you actually filed a return. The IRS gives you a limited amount of time to claim a refund by filing your own, original tax return. We have usually done this for 1040 tax returns, but also for Payroll tax cases where a Revenue Officer created a Substitute Filed Form 941 that show a higher payroll deposit requirements than actual. The original return that is filed is technically an "audit Reconsideration." Again, the older and larger the refund, the more scrutiny and time you should expect before you receive your refund from the IRS.

Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement on Trust Fund Penalty Assessments, 6672, the Civil Penalty

If you believe you have wrongly been assessed a Trust Fund Penalty Assessment, you may be able to "reverse" that assessment through a Form 843 claim for refund— even if you have not paid anything. The process is quite convoluted, but it is possible to prevail.

Now, while it it is true you can settle a trust fund penalty with an Offer in Compromise, your strongest reason will be that you simply do not have the resources to pay the entire liability. And you will have to pay something. So it is best, if possible, to try eliminating a wrongfully assessed trust fund penalty with a Claim for Refund first.

Others types of a Claim for Refund

Other types of an IRS claim for Refund include  Form 8849, Claim for Refund of Excise Taxes, and Form 6181 Claim for Refund of Tax Return Preparer and Promoter Penalties.