Claims for Refund – Wait a minute the IRS owes ME money! How do I get it back?


If you believe that you have over paid your taxes, you have a different kind of IRS Problem. It is possible to get money back from the IRS if you follow the correct procedure and have patience.


Claims for refund need to be filed within 3 years from the date the original tax return was filed or 2 years from when you paid the tax, whichever date is later.  If you file your return early, the date will be from the date the return was actually due.  If you fail to file a claim for refund within this timeframe, you will probably lose the opportunity to receive a refund.

Steps to Filing a Claim for Refund

Fill out Form 1040X (Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return).
Use a separate form for each year you want to amend.
Determine whether you need to change your state return also.
Include the explanation of income, deduction, or credit you base your claim on.
Attach a copy of the original return and all attachments.
Send via certified mail.  If you have multiple claims, send each one separately.
Wait. It could take 2-3 months for the claim to be processed.

IRS Procedure

The IRS will either deny your claim, accept it as filed, or examine your claim.  If it chooses to examine your claim, it will follow pretty much the same procedure as when it examined your original tax return.

It should be noted that if you file for a refund for more than the allowable amount, a penalty of 20% of the excessive amount might be assessed.

The IRS can deny your claim for a number of reasons:

You filed the claim too late.

Your claim was based on the unconstitutionality of the revenue acts

You reached a settlement with the IRS so the claim is waived.
You claim a year that is now part of a closing agreement or an offer in compromise.
Your return was closed by a final court order.

The IRS must send you an explanation of why your claim was denied for any of these or other reasons. You will have 2 years from the date of this mailing to file a refund suit.

There are also special circumstances that can affect a claim for refund such as disaster area claims, claim for refunds by estates, and injured spouse exception.

With its many complexities, a claim for refund can be more than you can handle alone.  Contact our office for assistance. Your IRS Problems can be easily solved. Call us today tollfree at (888) 438-6474. We represent taxpayers in all 50 states.

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Comments on Claims for Refund – Wait a minute the IRS owes ME money! How do I get it back?

April 9, 2008

Stephen Kittle @ 10:45 pm #

A year ago the IRS sent me a letter saying they needed a Scedule D from me because I had not reported the cost basis of a mutual fund and I had not reported the gain or loss of the mutual fund. I had to pay more taxes and interest and penalties. The stock broker does not report the cost basis of their mutual funds to the IRS. Why didn't the IRS want documentary evidence from me to prove the accuuracy of the Schedule D I sent them? They said I could still amend the return after the new adjustments. Is it possible to get a refund by simply sending them a new Schedule D or would they want more documentation?

June 4, 2008

Angela @ 2:39 pm #

I recently was awarded equitable relief under 6015f through federal tax court. This process took over 2 years before my case was heard due to technical jurisdiction issues. My home was sold in the mean time and the equity went straight to the IRS to satisfy back taxes, since I was relieved of this tax debt and divorce states that if so, I am to recieve 1/2 of the equity in the home. My ex did an offer in compromise and offered the full equity in the home to the IRS as settlement, but half was mine! Now who do I go after to get my money,the ex by filing contempt charges??? or the IRS whom took it??

Angela @ 3:08 pm #

Thank you. I wasnt sure how to proceed. I appreciate your time and answer. Sincerely, Angela

June 11, 2008

Leslie Davis @ 2:52 pm #

When sending in our 2007 1040, i failed to attach a 1099-

August 31, 2008

manuel roman @ 12:37 am #

I have owned a house for 6 years and never knew I could og gotten back the interest I paid on our home, Can I do anything about that now?

Manuel @ 4:19 pm #

Hi Mish,
Thanks for your answer. Each of the 6years I paid about 8,000 each year. How do I amend this and what or how much do you think I will get back? Also about how much does it cost to do this? Thanks for your answers

October 7, 2008

Cynthis @ 12:26 pm #

I just received a notice from the IRS stating I owed taxes from 3 years ago. Is this legally waived? Do I still have to pay these taxes, or do they write them off?

November 10, 2008

TimC @ 4:53 am #

I found out that the IRS owes me over 10K, but it's been over 3 years and they're saying, "sorry but…" Is there any chance of getting at least part of that money? Thanks.

November 11, 2008

JAMIE @ 2:48 pm #


November 22, 2008

Simmons @ 12:09 pm #

Last year I did my income taxes incorrect and the IRS send me letter telling me that I did it incorrect and that they owe me some money and to fill out the bottom of the letter so they can further research it. So, I filled it out and the next month they send me the same letter saying that they are still researching it and to fill out the form again and return it, so I did. So, every month until August they sent me the same letter and filled it out and I returned it. So, in September I decided not to continue to send the letter since I have been sending them the same letter for the last 8 months, so I called them and they told me since I didn't send back the letter to them they closed the investigation. So, how can they close the investigation when they told me that owe me money and now I can't get the money they owe me or can I.

December 26, 2008

Ashleigh @ 12:56 pm #

If I was getting paid a grant for housing in order to work for Resdience Life at College, which it was a requirement for me to live in the building, should I have paid taxes on that income? Will I be able to claim a refund based on the fact that this was an incentive to the school to have me live in the housing in order to do my job?

April 15, 2009

John @ 2:01 am #

I did my state taxes online via Turbo Tax. As a result, the state of Mississippi should owe me close to $1000.00
I received a check from the state for $78 dollars with no explanation. What gives?

Sherry @ 7:30 pm #

Today we just received and adjustment notice from our state saying we overpaid our taxes. It says: Please note – No bill or refund will be issued as a result of adjustment. How can they get away with that and not send me a refund? Why do I have to jump through all kinds of hoops to get it back? Once again, we see what a rip off the government is. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

September 4, 2009

Lisa @ 10:30 am #

The Irs took a payroll check from my husband almost 2 yrs ago and never applied it to his account. His company said they sent it off but the IRS says they never got it. We have faxed over all the forms to the IRS thats show's the check was cashed and cleared. We have been dealing with this for 2 yrs and can't really get anywhere with them. Any advice?

September 15, 2009
January 16, 2010

Chris @ 2:52 pm #

My wife and I filed as "Married, but filing separately" in 2009, for the 2008 tax year. In July of '09, we purchased our first home. I filed our 1040x amendment on August 2nd, 2009 to claim our first-time homebuyer’s credit, as well as to change our filing status to "Married". After calling once in late November to check the status of our slow-moving refund, a representative from the IRS hotline aprised me of our pending return amount, and projected another couple weeks before we were to receive it. A month later, a letter, not a check, arrived indicating the amount due to us from the IRS. It furthermore indicated that if the check had not arrived already, it would arrive within 2 weeks. 5 weeks later (January 15th / last evening), I called to inquire again. This time, they found our records and informed us that there was no intent to mail us a check — that in fact we were do no return, but when I requested an explanation, they couldn't provide us with one. In fact, this time the representative told us that “she did not know why this had happened,” which was of course little help to us. Is the IRS at liberty to withhold these funds without explanation? Especially after mailing a statement acknowledging our due return? Any light you can shed on this little predicament would be very much appreciated – I’m practically turning cheetah-flips out of anger. Thanks in advance.

January 19, 2010
January 21, 2010

Carol @ 3:55 pm #

I filed an amendment to my 2008 taxes when I found a W-2 I overlooked; which added $4,000 to my Adust. Gross Income. Turbotax said I should receive an additional $604.00 credit. 4 months later I receive a ltter from the IRS that says I OWE them $745.00!!!


I have tried to call the 800# multiple times only to wait 10 mins or more and have to hang-up because I am at work..

As a single mother, I claim the EIC and more and have ALWAYS had a refund; of course, the IRS letter does not explain where or how they figure I owe them!


January 22, 2010
March 27, 2010

Chris @ 6:36 pm #

Hi there i was just wondering if the irs is realy going to follow through with my problem see last year 2009 i filed for 2008 for a return around 4.000 well the irs would not let me have that $ because they claimed i needed to file for 2003 / 2004 /2005/ they said they never had those years on file of me fileing so i did all they wanted and still no refund for 2009 but i did get for 2009 no problem .
so between 2002/2003/2005 it came out that i was owed almost 9.000 will i see any of that with it being so far back

May 14, 2010

jackie @ 3:38 pm #

How can i get money owed to me from irs about 5-7 years ago.

June 1, 2010

nency @ 11:29 pm #

how can i calculate the amount of interest i will get from the irs on $6024 from 2008

June 3, 2010
June 7, 2010

Kathleen @ 1:52 am #

Due to some life issues, I haven't filed my taxes yet. IRS owes me a small amount of money once I file, but strictly based on my 1099 gross, I owe them. Will I have any problems if I finally get my filing done in June?

June 12, 2010

Amy S @ 5:22 pm #

My husband and I were audited in 2009 for the 2006 tax year. After a year of hassle and the patience of my tax accountant, we were awarded a refund. About how long once you submit the paperwork to the IRS does it take to actually receive the refund? It seems like we\\\'ve been waiting MONTHS to receive it.

June 23, 2010

Tina Robertson @ 3:33 pm #

I received a letter around the second week of March stating that I had claimed wrong and that they owed me roughly 250. The letter stated there was nothing else I needed to do and that the check would come to me in around 8-12 weeks. Should I wait a little longer or try to contact someone?

July 9, 2010
September 18, 2010

Tina @ 9:33 am #

Please help. I had an amendment done for tax year 2006 by a CPA. The CPA prepared the mailing and the address label he used sent my amendment to Kansas City, which was the wrong office, but i did not know was the wrong office at the time! I mailed it on April 1st, First Class and I have the receipt showing this. I continued to call several times to see if it had been recieved to no avail. Finally, in mid May I sent it certified to the correct office in Fresno. This is the date they are using and now they are saying it\\\'s past the 3 years and denying my claim! The CPA never told me that my due date for this 2006 refund was 4/15/10, so I had no idea. I feel that I was ill-advised by him and his incompetency for putting the wrong mailing address labels has caused me to lose thousands of dollars! Do I have a case? Can the 4/1/10 receipt save me? I really need this refund, as I am in dire need of money after a job loss. Please help!

September 20, 2010
November 9, 2010

Riya @ 1:15 pm #

I just have one kind of stupid question. My husband and I over payed school taxes in the state of ohio. We did everything we were suppose to. Within about 2 yrs it was straightend out and they indeed owed us a refund for school taxes. here is my stupid question, About how long does it take to finally recieve our school tax refund? it is a fairly decent amount and it has been a month since we last spoke to them. They spoke as if thats all we are going to be waiting on.
Hope you might have an answer,
sincerely, waiting by the mailbox :)

November 22, 2010

Thomas @ 10:00 pm #

The IRS owe me a bit more than $5000, I did notify them that there was an error but did pay and then we just waited, in 2010 I wrote them to see if they could re-imburse and they said it is more than 2 years. What can I do? the sentence on the paper is \\\\"You must generally file the claim within 3 years…..\\\\"
(generally doesn\\\\\\\'t mean always) and any how money due is money even 10 years after. Please help – thanks .W

November 28, 2010

Mark Axford @ 10:28 am #

On April 15, 2006, I paid my taxes of $2367.22 which had calculated on my 1040 EZ form. The IRS cashed the check (I have a copy of the cashed check). In July 2006, I received a notice from the IRS that the amount of tax I should have paid (they calculated at $2307.64, $60.00 LESS than what I already paid) had not been received. With fees they said I owed them $2371.19. I tried communicating by phone with the IRS and to the best of my recollection was told to wait nine weeks and call them back to see if it had been cleared up. Nine weeks later, things had not cleared up and they said that the amount was still owed by me. I told them I would not pay again. On May 12, 2007 I got a Notice of Levy that $2721.55 had been taken from my checking account by the IRS. I was not in a position at the time time fight it. Although substantial time has passed, is there any conceivable way of attempting to get this money back? I have all relevant paperwork and it seems pretty clear to me that this was an error on their part. Thank you very much,

December 17, 2010

Patricia @ 10:37 am #

My husband and I filed our return for 2009 in May. We were expecting a refund, which is why we didn't worry about the April deadline. When our account tried to file an electronic return (as he'd done in past years for us) he was given a message that a return had already been filed in my name. I thought it was some kind of clerical error and mailed the return in. About a month and a half after I filed the return I found out that someone had used my SSN and maiden name to file a return. We filed the ID theft affidavit along with the requested documentation. Ths was back in late July, early August. We due a large refund from them and really need the money. Now there's a tax advocate involved, not that I see that helps much either because she doesn't return calls. It's been over 7 months since we filed our return and we don't have our money. Can I sue them!?

February 8, 2011
February 16, 2011

Troy Goodman @ 11:50 pm #

hello i have a big EIC problem never could find a tax layer
it will be 3years i have not seen a dollar

March 18, 2011

Patricia Dondero @ 9:41 pm #

The IRS sent me a letter the end of February saying I owe $614 due to a tax increase from 2009. They stated in the letter that I had until March 30, 2011 to respond on how I was going to pay it (in full, make payments, etc.). Three days ago I get a letter from the state of California that states the IRS intercepted my tax refund to pay the back balance. Today I get a direct deposit from federal for less than I was suppose to get. The problem is I only owed $614 but they took $614.00 + $348.00. Basically they owe me $348.00. The state is telling me to contact the IRS. That's problem #1. Problem #2 is that I have been having problems with the IRS on my 2008 tax refund (they owe me over $2000.00) for over a year now. It's a paper game. I have signed the papers they want and they keep sending them to me again and again. It's just back and forth. I don't know what to do. I can talk to someone but what they state will happen never does. They told me 6 months to get the refund last February. I still don't have it. Now they have an overpayment. I will probably never see that either. Help! I don't know what to do.

April 9, 2011
August 18, 2011

tasha @ 6:36 pm #

I received a mail out date for my return on aug. 5 then i received a letter stating I was getting a refund on aug 10 the letter was mailed out aug 8th should i have gotten the letter before the refund and still no refund to this day

March 14, 2012

Nancy @ 10:08 am #

I recieved a letter from the IRS that they owe me money, because of over payment. How long does it take for me to recieve it, and will they mail the check or will they send it to the location where I filed my taxes?

March 22, 2012