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Vita tax program Index A Assistance (see Tax help) F Free tax services, How To Get Tax Help H Help (see Tax help) M More information (see Tax help) P Publications (see Tax help) T Tax help, How To Get Tax Help Taxpayer Advocate, Taxpayer Advocate Service. Vita tax program TTY/TDD information, How To Get Tax Help Prev  Up     Home   More Online Publications
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Identity Protection

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The IRS is committed to working with taxpayers who are the victims of identity theft

The IRS has taken numerous steps to combat identity theft and protect taxpayers. We are continually looking at ways to increase data security and protect taxpayers' identities with assistance from our Identity Protection Specialized Unit. Identity theft cases are among the most complex ones we handle.

We know identity theft is a frustrating process for victims. We take this issue very seriously and continue to expand on our robust screening process in order to stop fraudulent returns and protect innocent taxpayers.

On this page, you will find a wide range of information. Depending upon your personal circumstances, the information found here will cover a variety of scenarios involving identity theft, ranging from contacting us with a case of identity theft to providing tips to help keep your records safe.

  • Victim of identity theft?

Do you have reason to believe you are the victim of identity theft and your tax accounts have been affected?

Have you been informed that someone may be using your Social Security number for employment purposes?

Remember:
The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information.  This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 13-Mar-2014

The Vita Tax Program

Vita tax program Publication 556 - Main Content Table of Contents Examination of ReturnsIf Your Return Is Examined Interest Netting Abatement of Interest Due to Error or Delay by the IRS Abatement of Interest for Individuals Affected by Presidentially Declared Disasters or Military or Terrorist Actions Offer in Compromise Appeal RightsAppeal Within the IRS Appeals to the Courts Refund or Credit of Overpayments Before Final Determination Claims for RefundTime for Filing a Claim for Refund Limit on Amount of Refund Processing Claims for Refund Reduced Refund How To Get Tax Help Examination of Returns Your return may be examined for a variety of reasons, and the examination may take place in any one of several ways. Vita tax program After the examination, if any changes to your tax are proposed, you can either agree with those changes and pay any additional tax you may owe, or you can disagree with the changes and appeal the decision. Vita tax program Examination selection criteria. Vita tax program   Your return may be selected for examination on the basis of computer scoring. Vita tax program A computer program called the Discriminant Inventory Function System (DIF) assigns a numeric score to each individual and some corporate tax returns after they have been processed. Vita tax program If your return is selected because of a high score under the DIF system, the potential is high that an examination of your return will result in a change to your income tax liability. Vita tax program   Your return may also be selected for examination on the basis of information received from third-party documentation, such as Forms 1099 and W-2, that does not match the information reported on your return. Vita tax program Or, your return may be selected to address both the questionable treatment of an item and to study the behavior of similar taxpayers (a market segment) in handling a tax issue. Vita tax program   In addition, your return may be selected as a result of information received from other sources on potential noncompliance with the tax laws or inaccurate filing. Vita tax program This information can come from a number of sources, including newspapers, public records, and individuals. Vita tax program The information is evaluated for reliability and accuracy before it is used as the basis of an examination or investigation. Vita tax program Notice of IRS contact of third parties. Vita tax program    The IRS must give you reasonable notice before contacting other persons about your tax matters. Vita tax program You must be given reasonable notice in advance that, in examining or collecting your tax liability, the IRS may contact third parties such as your neighbors, banks, employers, or employees. Vita tax program The IRS must also give you notice of specific contacts by providing you with a record of persons contacted on both a periodic basis and upon your request. Vita tax program    This provision does not apply: To any pending criminal investigation, When providing notice would jeopardize collection of any tax liability, Where providing notice may result in reprisal against any person, or When you authorized the contact. Vita tax program Taxpayer Advocate Service. Vita tax program   The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS whose goal is to help taxpayers resolve problems with the IRS. Vita tax program If you have an ongoing issue with the IRS that has not been resolved through normal processes, or your problems with the IRS are causing financial difficulty, contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service. Vita tax program    Before contacting the Taxpayer Advocate Service, you should first discuss any problem with a supervisor. Vita tax program Your local Taxpayer Advocate will assist you if you are unable to resolve the problem with the supervisor. Vita tax program   For more information, see Publication 1546. Vita tax program See How To Get Tax Help , near the end of this publication, for more information about contacting the Taxpayer Advocate Service. Vita tax program Comments from small business. Vita tax program    The Small Business and Agricultural Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and 10 Regional Fairness Boards have been established to receive comments from small business about federal agency enforcement actions. Vita tax program The Ombudsman will annually evaluate the enforcement activities of each agency and rate their responsiveness to small business. Vita tax program If you wish to comment on the enforcement actions of the IRS, you can take any of the following steps. Vita tax program Fax your comments to 1-202-481-5719. Vita tax program Write to the following address: Office of the National Ombudsman U. Vita tax program S. Vita tax program Small Business Administration 409 3rd Street, SW Washington, DC 20416 Call 1-888-734-3247. Vita tax program Send an email to ombudsman@sba. Vita tax program gov. Vita tax program File a comment or complaint online at www. Vita tax program sba. Vita tax program gov/ombudsman. Vita tax program If Your Return Is Examined Some examinations are handled entirely by mail. Vita tax program Examinations not handled by mail can take place in your home, your place of business, an Internal Revenue office, or the office of your authorized representative. Vita tax program If the time, place, or method is not convenient for you, the examiner will try to work out something more suitable. Vita tax program However, the IRS makes the final determination of when, where, and how the examination will take place. Vita tax program Throughout the examination, you can act on your own behalf or have someone represent you or accompany you. Vita tax program If you filed a joint return, either you or your spouse, or both, can meet with the IRS. Vita tax program The person representing you can be any federally authorized practitioner, including an attorney, a certified public accountant, an enrolled agent (a person enrolled to practice before the IRS), an enrolled actuary, or the person who prepared the return and signed it as the preparer. Vita tax program If you want someone to represent you in your absence, you must furnish that person with proper written authorization. Vita tax program You can use Form 2848 or any other properly written authorization. Vita tax program If you want to consult with an attorney, a certified public accountant, an enrolled agent, or any other person permitted to represent a taxpayer during an interview for examining a tax return or collecting tax, you should make arrangements with that person to be available for the interview. Vita tax program In most cases, the IRS must suspend the interview and reschedule it. Vita tax program The IRS cannot suspend the interview if you are there because of an administrative summons. Vita tax program Third party authorization. Vita tax program   If you checked the box in the signature area of your income tax return (Form 1040, Form 1040A, or Form 1040EZ) to allow the IRS to discuss your return with another person (a third party designee), this authorization does not replace Form 2848. Vita tax program The box you checked on your return only authorizes the other person to receive information about the processing of your return and the status of your refund during the period your return is being processed. Vita tax program For more information, see the instructions for your return. Vita tax program Confidentiality privilege. Vita tax program   Generally, the same confidentiality protection that you have with an attorney also applies to certain communications that you have with federally authorized practitioners. Vita tax program   Confidential communications are those that: Advise you on tax matters within the scope of the practitioner's authority to practice before the IRS, Would be confidential between an attorney and you, and Relate to noncriminal tax matters before the IRS, or Relate to noncriminal tax proceedings brought in federal court by or against the United States. Vita tax program   In the case of communications in connection with the promotion of a person's participation in a tax shelter, the confidentiality privilege does not apply to written communications between a federally authorized practitioner and that person, any director, officer, employee, agent, or representative of that person, or any other person holding a capital or profits interest in that person. Vita tax program   A tax shelter is any entity, plan, or arrangement, a significant purpose of which is the avoidance or evasion of income tax. Vita tax program Recordings. Vita tax program    You can make an audio recording of the examination interview. Vita tax program Your request to record the interview should be made in writing. Vita tax program You must notify the examiner 10 days in advance and bring your own recording equipment. Vita tax program The IRS also can record an interview. Vita tax program If the IRS initiates the recording, you must be notified 10 days in advance and you can get a copy of the recording at your expense. Vita tax program Transfers to another area. Vita tax program    Generally, your return is examined in the area where you live. Vita tax program But if your return can be examined more quickly and conveniently in another area, such as where your books and records are located, you can ask to have the case transferred to that area. Vita tax program Repeat examinations. Vita tax program    The IRS tries to avoid repeat examinations of the same items, but sometimes this happens. Vita tax program If your tax return was examined for the same items in either of the 2 previous years and no change was proposed to your tax liability, please contact the IRS as soon as possible to see if the examination should be discontinued. Vita tax program The Examination An examination usually begins when you are notified that your return has been selected. Vita tax program The IRS will tell you which records you will need. Vita tax program The examination can proceed more easily if you gather your records before any interview. Vita tax program Any proposed changes to your return will be explained to you or your authorized representative. Vita tax program It is important that you understand the reasons for any proposed changes. Vita tax program You should not hesitate to ask about anything that is unclear to you. Vita tax program The IRS must follow the tax laws set forth by Congress in the Internal Revenue Code. Vita tax program The IRS also follows Treasury Regulations, other rules, and procedures that were written to administer the tax laws and court decisions. Vita tax program However, the IRS can lose cases that involve taxpayers with the same issue and still apply its interpretation of the law to your situation. Vita tax program Most taxpayers agree to changes proposed by examiners, and the examinations are closed at this level. Vita tax program If you do not agree, you can appeal any proposed change by following the procedures provided to you by the IRS. Vita tax program A more complete discussion of appeal rights is found later under Appeal Rights . Vita tax program If You Agree If you agree with the proposed changes, you can sign an agreement form and pay any additional tax you may owe. Vita tax program You must pay interest on any additional tax. Vita tax program If you pay when you sign the agreement, the interest is generally figured from the due date of your return (excluding any extension of time to file) to the date of your payment. Vita tax program If you do not pay the additional tax when you sign the agreement, you will receive a bill that includes interest. Vita tax program If you pay the amount due within 10 business days of the billing date, you will not have to pay more interest or penalties. Vita tax program This period is extended to 21 calendar days if the amount due is less than $100,000. Vita tax program If you are due a refund, you will receive it sooner if you sign the agreement form. Vita tax program You will be paid interest on the refund. Vita tax program If the IRS accepts your tax return as filed, you will receive a letter in a few weeks stating that the examiner proposed no changes to your return. Vita tax program You should keep this letter with your tax records. Vita tax program If You Do Not Agree If you do not agree with the proposed changes, the examiner will explain your appeal rights. Vita tax program If your examination takes place in an IRS office, you can request an immediate meeting with the examiner's supervisor to explain your position. Vita tax program If an agreement is reached, your case will be closed. Vita tax program If you cannot reach an agreement with the supervisor at this meeting, or if the examination took place outside of an IRS office, the examiner will write up your case explaining your position and the IRS's position. Vita tax program The examiner will forward your case for processing. Vita tax program Fast track mediation. Vita tax program   The IRS offers fast track mediation services to help taxpayers resolve many disputes resulting from: Examinations (audits), Offers in compromise, Trust fund recovery penalties, and Other collection actions. Vita tax program   Most cases that are not docketed in any court qualify for fast track mediation. Vita tax program Mediation can take place at a conference you request with a supervisor, or later. Vita tax program The process involves an Appeals Officer who has been trained in mediation. Vita tax program You may represent yourself at the mediation session, or someone else can act as your representative. Vita tax program For more information, see Publication 3605. Vita tax program 30-day letter and 90-day letter. Vita tax program   Within a few weeks after your closing conference with the examiner and/or supervisor, you will receive a package with: A letter (known as a 30-day letter) notifying you of your right to appeal the proposed changes within 30 days, A copy of the examination report explaining the examiner's proposed changes, An agreement or waiver form, and A copy of Publication 5. Vita tax program You generally have 30 days from the date of the 30-day letter to tell the IRS whether you will accept or appeal the proposed changes. Vita tax program The letter will explain what steps you should take, depending on which action you choose. Vita tax program Be sure to follow the instructions carefully. Vita tax program Appeal Rights are explained later. Vita tax program 90-day letter. Vita tax program   If you do not respond to the 30-day letter, or if you later do not reach an agreement with an Appeals Officer, the IRS will send you a 90-day letter, which is also known as a notice of deficiency. Vita tax program You will have 90 days (150 days if it is addressed to you outside the United States) from the date of this notice to file a petition with the Tax Court. Vita tax program Filing a petition with the Tax Court is discussed later under Appeals to the Courts and Tax Court . Vita tax program The notice will show the 90th (or 150th) day by which you must file your petition with the Tax Court. Vita tax program Suspension of interest and penalties. Vita tax program   Generally, the IRS has 3 years from the date you filed your return (or the date the return was due, if later) to assess any additional tax. Vita tax program However, if you file your return timely (including extensions), interest and certain penalties will be suspended if the IRS does not mail a notice to you, stating your liability and the basis for that liability, within a 36-month period beginning on the later of: The date on which you filed your tax return, or The due date (without extensions) of your tax return. Vita tax program If the IRS mails a notice after the 36-month period, interest and certain penalties applicable to the suspension period will be suspended. Vita tax program   The suspension period begins the day after the close of the 36-month period and ends 21 days after the IRS mails a notice to you stating your liability and the basis for that liability. Vita tax program Also, the suspension period applies separately to each notice stating your liability and the basis for that liability received by you. Vita tax program    The suspension does not apply to a: Failure-to-pay penalty, Fraudulent tax return, Penalty, interest, addition to tax, or additional amount with respect to any tax liability shown on your return or with respect to any gross misstatement, Penalty, interest, addition to tax, or additional amount with respect to any reportable transaction that is not adequately disclosed or any listed transaction, or Criminal penalty. Vita tax program Seeking relief from improperly assessed interest. Vita tax program   You can seek relief if interest is assessed for periods during which interest should have been suspended because the IRS did not mail a notice to you in a timely manner. Vita tax program   If you believe that interest was assessed with respect to a period during which interest should have been suspended, submit Form 843, writing “Section 6404(g) Notification” at the top of the form, with the IRS Service Center where you filed your return. Vita tax program The IRS will review the Form 843 and notify you whether interest will be abated. Vita tax program If the IRS does not abate interest, you can pay the disputed interest assessment and file a claim for refund. Vita tax program If your claim is denied or not acted upon within 6 months from the date you filed it, you can file suit for a refund in your United States District Court or in the United States Court of Federal Claims. Vita tax program   If you believe that an IRS officer or employee has made an unreasonable error or delay in performing a ministerial or managerial act (discussed later under Abatement of Interest Due to Error or Delay by the IRS ), file Form 843 with the IRS Service Center where you filed the tax return. Vita tax program If the IRS denies your claim, the Tax Court may be able to review that determination. Vita tax program See Tax Court can review failure to abate interest later under Abatement of Interest Due to Error or Delay by the IRS . Vita tax program If you later agree. Vita tax program    If you agree with the examiner's changes after receiving the examination report or the 30-day letter, sign and return either the examination report or the waiver form. Vita tax program Keep a copy for your records. Vita tax program You can pay any additional amount you owe without waiting for a bill. Vita tax program Include interest on the additional tax at the applicable rate. Vita tax program This interest rate is usually for the period from the due date of the return (excluding any extension of time to file) to the date of payment. Vita tax program The examiner can tell you the interest rate(s) or help you figure the amount. Vita tax program   You must pay interest on penalties and additions to tax for failing to file returns, for overstating valuations, for understating valuations on estate and gift tax returns, and for substantially understating tax liability. Vita tax program Interest is generally figured from the date (including extensions) the tax return is required to be filed to the date you pay the penalty and/or additions to tax. Vita tax program   If you pay the amount due within 10 business days after the date of notice and demand for immediate payment, you will not have to pay any additional penalties and interest. Vita tax program This period is extended to 21 calendar days if the amount due is less than $100,000. Vita tax program How To Stop Interest From Accruing If you think that you will owe additional tax at the end of the examination, you can stop the further accrual of interest by sending money to the IRS to cover all or part of the amount you think you will owe. Vita tax program Interest on part or all of any amount you owe will stop accruing on the date the IRS receives your money. Vita tax program You can send an amount either in the form of a deposit in the nature of a cash bond or as a payment of tax. Vita tax program Both a deposit and a payment stop any further accrual of interest. Vita tax program However, making a deposit or payment will stop the accrual of interest on only the amount you sent. Vita tax program Because of compounding rules, interest will continue to accrue on accrued interest, even though you have paid the underlying tax. Vita tax program To stop the accrual of interest on both tax and interest, you must make a deposit or payment for both the tax and interest that has accrued as of the date of deposit or payment. Vita tax program Payment or Deposit Deposits differ from payments in two ways: You can have all or part of your deposit returned to you without filing for a refund. Vita tax program However, if you request and receive your deposit and the IRS later assesses a deficiency for that period and type of tax, interest will be figured as if the funds were never on deposit. Vita tax program Also, your deposit will not be returned if one of the following situations applies: The IRS assesses a tax liability. Vita tax program The IRS determines that, by returning the deposit, it may not be able to collect a future deficiency. Vita tax program The IRS determines that the deposit should be applied against another tax liability. Vita tax program Deposits returned to you will include interest based on the Federal short-term rate determined under section 6621(b). Vita tax program The deposit returned will be treated as a tax payment to the extent of the disputed tax. Vita tax program A disputed tax means the amount of tax specified at the time of deposit as a reasonable estimate of the maximum amount of any tax owed by you, such as the deficiency proposed in the 30-day letter. Vita tax program Notice not mailed. Vita tax program    If you send money before the IRS mails you a notice of deficiency, you can ask the IRS to treat it as a deposit. Vita tax program You must make your request in writing. Vita tax program   If, after being notified of a proposed liability but before the IRS mails you a notice of deficiency, you send an amount large enough to cover the proposed liability, it will be considered a payment unless you request in writing that it be treated as a deposit. Vita tax program Keep copies of all correspondence you send to the IRS. Vita tax program   If the amount you send is at least as much as the proposed liability and you do not request that it be treated as a deposit, the IRS will not send you a notice of deficiency. Vita tax program If you do not receive a notice of deficiency, you cannot take your case to the Tax Court. Vita tax program See Tax Court , later under Appeal Rights . Vita tax program Notice mailed. Vita tax program    If, after the IRS mails the notice of deficiency, you send money without written instructions, it will be treated as a payment. Vita tax program You will still be able to petition the Tax Court. Vita tax program   If you send money after receiving a notice of deficiency and you have specified in writing that it is a “deposit in the nature of a cash bond,” the IRS will treat it as a deposit if you send it before either: The close of the 90-day or 150-day period for filing a petition with the Tax Court to appeal the deficiency, or The date the Tax Court decision is final, if you have filed a petition. Vita tax program Using a Deposit To Pay the Tax If you agree with the examiner's proposed changes after the examination, your deposit will be applied against any amount you may owe. Vita tax program The IRS will not mail you a notice of deficiency and you will not have the right to take your case to the Tax Court. Vita tax program If you do not agree to the full amount of the deficiency after the examination, the IRS will mail you a notice of deficiency. Vita tax program Your deposit will be applied against the proposed deficiency unless you write to the IRS before the end of the 90-day or 150-day period stating that you still want the money to be treated as a deposit. Vita tax program You will still have the right to take your case to the Tax Court. Vita tax program Installment Agreement Request You can request a monthly installment plan if you cannot pay the full amount you owe. Vita tax program To be valid, your request must be approved by the IRS. Vita tax program However, if you owe $10,000 or less in tax and you meet certain other criteria, the IRS must accept your request. Vita tax program Before you request an installment agreement, you should consider other less costly alternatives, such as a bank loan. Vita tax program You will continue to be charged interest and penalties on the amount you owe until it is paid in full. Vita tax program Unless your income is below a certain level, the fee for an approved installment agreement has increased to $105 ($52 if you make your payments by electronic funds withdrawal). Vita tax program If your income is below a certain level, you may qualify to pay a reduced fee of $43. Vita tax program For more information about installment agreements, see Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request. Vita tax program Interest Netting If you owe interest to the IRS on an underpayment for the same period the IRS owes you interest on an overpayment, the IRS will figure interest on the underpayment and overpayment at the same interest rate (up to the amount of the overpayment). Vita tax program As a result, the net rate is zero for that period. Vita tax program Abatement of Interest Due to Error or Delay by the IRS The IRS may abate (reduce) the amount of interest you owe if the interest is due to an unreasonable error or delay by an IRS officer or employee in performing a ministerial or managerial act (discussed later). Vita tax program Only the amount of interest on income, estate, gift, generation-skipping, and certain excise taxes can be reduced. Vita tax program The amount of interest will not be reduced if you or anyone related to you contributed significantly to the error or delay. Vita tax program Also, the interest will be reduced only if the error or delay happened after the IRS contacted you in writing about the deficiency or payment on which the interest is based. Vita tax program An audit notification letter is such a contact. Vita tax program The IRS cannot reduce the amount of interest due to a general administrative decision, such as a decision on how to organize the processing of tax returns. Vita tax program Ministerial act. Vita tax program    This is a procedural or mechanical act, not involving the exercise of judgment or discretion, during the processing of a case after all prerequisites (for example, conferences and review by supervisors) have taken place. Vita tax program A decision concerning the proper application of federal tax law (or other federal or state law) is not a ministerial act. Vita tax program Example 1. Vita tax program You move from one state to another before the IRS selects your tax return for examination. Vita tax program A letter stating that your return has been selected is sent to your old address and then forwarded to your new address. Vita tax program When you get the letter, you respond with a request that the examination be transferred to the area office closest to your new address. Vita tax program The examination group manager approves your request. Vita tax program After your request has been approved, the transfer is a ministerial act. Vita tax program The IRS can reduce the interest because of any unreasonable delay in transferring the case. Vita tax program Example 2. Vita tax program An examination of your return reveals tax due for which a notice of deficiency (90-day letter) will be issued. Vita tax program After you and the IRS discuss the issues, the notice is prepared and reviewed. Vita tax program After the review process, issuing the notice of deficiency is a ministerial act. Vita tax program If there is an unreasonable delay in sending the notice of deficiency to you, the IRS can reduce the interest resulting from the delay. Vita tax program Managerial act. Vita tax program    This is an administrative act during the processing of a case that involves the loss of records or the exercise of judgment or discretion concerning the management of personnel. Vita tax program A decision concerning the proper application of federal tax law (or other federal or state law) is not a managerial act. Vita tax program Example. Vita tax program A revenue agent is examining your tax return. Vita tax program During the middle of the examination, the agent is sent to an extended training course. Vita tax program The agent's supervisor decides not to reassign your case, so the work is unreasonably delayed until the agent returns. Vita tax program Interest from the unreasonable delay can be abated since both the decision to send the agent to the training class and not to reassign the case are managerial acts. Vita tax program How to request abatement of interest. Vita tax program    You request an abatement (reduction) of interest on Form 843. Vita tax program You should file the claim with the IRS Service Center where you filed the tax return that was affected by the error or delay. Vita tax program   If you have already paid the interest and you would like a credit or refund of interest paid, you must file Form 843 within 3 years from the date you filed your original return or 2 years from the date you paid the interest, whichever is later. Vita tax program If you have not paid any of the interest, these time limitations for filing Form 843 do not apply. Vita tax program   Generally, you should file a separate Form 843 for each tax period and each type of tax. Vita tax program However, complete only one Form 843 if the interest is from an IRS error or delay that affected your tax for more than one tax period or for more than one type of tax (for example, where 2 or more tax years were being examined). Vita tax program   If your request for abatement of interest is denied, you can appeal the decision to the IRS Appeals Office. Vita tax program Tax Court can review failure to abate interest. Vita tax program    The Tax Court can review the IRS's refusal to abate (reduce) interest if all of the following requirements are met: You filed a request for abatement of interest (Form 843) with the IRS after July 30,1996. Vita tax program The IRS has mailed you a notice of final determination or a notice of disallowance. Vita tax program You file a petition with the Tax Court within 180 days of the mailing of the notice of final determination or the notice of disallowance. Vita tax program   The following requirements must also be met: For individual and estate taxpayers — your net worth must not exceed $2 million as of the filing date of your petition for review. Vita tax program For this purpose, individuals filing a joint return shall be treated as separate individuals. Vita tax program For charities and certain cooperatives — you must not have more than 500 employees as of the filing date of your petition for review. Vita tax program For all other taxpayers — your net worth must not exceed $7 million, and you must not have more than 500 employees as of the filing date of your petition for review. Vita tax program Abatement of Interest for Individuals Affected by Presidentially Declared Disasters or Military or Terrorist Actions If you are (or were) affected by a Presidentially declared disaster occurring after 1996 or a terrorist or military action occurring after September 10, 2001, the IRS may abate (reduce) the amount of interest you owe on certain taxes. Vita tax program The IRS may abate interest for the period of any additional time to file or pay that the IRS provides on account of the disaster or the terrorist or military action. Vita tax program The IRS will issue a notice or news release indicating who are affected taxpayers and stating the period of relief. Vita tax program If you are eligible for relief from interest, but were charged interest for the period of relief, the IRS may retroactively abate your interest. Vita tax program To the extent possible, the IRS can take the following actions: Make appropriate adjustments to your account. Vita tax program Notify you when the adjustments are made. Vita tax program Refund any interest paid by you where appropriate. Vita tax program For more information on disaster area losses, see Disaster Area Losses in Publication 547. Vita tax program For more information on other tax relief for victims of terrorist attacks, see Publication 3920. Vita tax program Offer in Compromise In certain circumstances, the IRS will allow you to pay less than the full amount you owe. Vita tax program If you think you may qualify, you should submit your offer by filing Form 656, Offer in Compromise. Vita tax program The IRS may accept your offer for any of the following reasons: There is doubt about the amount you owe (or whether you owe it). Vita tax program There is doubt as to whether you can pay the amount you owe based on your financial situation. Vita tax program An economic hardship would result if you had to pay the full amount owed. Vita tax program Your case presents compelling reasons that the IRS determines are a sufficient basis for compromise. Vita tax program If your offer is rejected, you have 30 days to ask the Appeals Office of the IRS to reconsider your offer. Vita tax program The IRS offers fast track mediation services to help taxpayers resolve many issues including a dispute regarding an offer in compromise. Vita tax program For more information, see Publication 3605. Vita tax program Generally, if you submit an offer in compromise, the IRS will delay certain collection activities. Vita tax program The IRS usually will not levy (take) your property to settle your tax bill during the following periods: While the IRS is evaluating your offer in compromise. Vita tax program The 30 days immediately after the offer is rejected. Vita tax program While your timely-filed appeal is being considered by Appeals. Vita tax program Also, if the IRS rejects your original offer and you submit a revised offer within 30 days of the rejection, the IRS generally will not levy your property while it considers your revised offer. Vita tax program For more information about submitting an offer in compromise, see Form 656. Vita tax program Appeal Rights Because people sometimes disagree on tax matters, the IRS has an appeals system. Vita tax program Most differences can be settled within this system without expensive and time-consuming court trials. Vita tax program However, your reasons for disagreeing must come within the scope of the tax laws. Vita tax program For example, you cannot appeal your case based only on moral, religious, political, constitutional, conscientious, or similar grounds. Vita tax program In most instances, you may be eligible to take your case to court if you do not reach an agreement at your appeals conference, or if you do not want to appeal your case to the IRS Office of Appeals. Vita tax program See Appeals to the Courts , later, for more information. Vita tax program Appeal Within the IRS You can appeal an IRS tax decision to a local Appeals Office, which is separate from and independent of the IRS office taking the action you disagree with. Vita tax program The Appeals Office is the only level of appeal within the IRS. Vita tax program Conferences with Appeals Office personnel are held in an informal manner by correspondence, by telephone, or at a personal conference. Vita tax program If you want an appeals conference, follow the instructions in the letter you received. Vita tax program Your request will be sent to the Appeals Office to arrange a conference at a convenient time and place. Vita tax program You or your representative should be prepared to discuss all disputed issues at the conference. Vita tax program Most differences are settled at this level. Vita tax program If agreement is not reached at your appeals conference, you may be eligible to take your case to court. Vita tax program See Appeals to the Courts , later. Vita tax program Protests and Small Case Requests When you request an Appeals conference, you may also need to file either a formal written protest or a small case request with the office named in the letter you received. Vita tax program Also, see the special appeal request procedures in Publication 1660. Vita tax program Written protest. Vita tax program   You need to file a written protest in the following cases: All employee plan and exempt organization cases without regard to the dollar amount at issue. Vita tax program All partnership and S corporation cases without regard to the dollar amount at issue. Vita tax program All other cases, unless you qualify for the small case request procedure, or other special appeal procedures such as requesting Appeals consideration of liens, levies, seizures, or installment agreements. Vita tax program   If you must submit a written protest, see the instructions in Publication 5 about the information you need to provide. Vita tax program The IRS urges you to provide as much information as you can, as it will help speed up your appeal. Vita tax program That will save you both time and money. Vita tax program    Be sure to send the protest within the time limit specified in the letter you received. Vita tax program Small case request. Vita tax program   If the total amount for any tax period is not more than $25,000, you may make a small case request instead of filing a formal written protest. Vita tax program In figuring the total amount, include a proposed increase or decrease in tax (including penalties), or claimed refund. Vita tax program If you are making an offer in compromise, include total unpaid tax, penalty, and interest due. Vita tax program For a small case request, follow the instructions in our letter to you by sending a letter: Requesting Appeals consideration, Indicating the changes you do not agree with, and Indicating the reasons why you do not agree. Vita tax program Representation You can represent yourself at your appeals conference, or you can be represented by any federally authorized practitioner, including an attorney, a certified public accountant, an enrolled actuary, or an enrolled agent. Vita tax program If your representative attends a conference without you, he or she can receive or inspect confidential information only if you have filed a power of attorney or a tax information authorization. Vita tax program You can use a Form 2848 or any other properly written power of attorney or authorization. Vita tax program You can also bring witnesses to support your position. Vita tax program Confidentiality privilege. Vita tax program   Generally, the same confidentiality protection that you have with an attorney also applies to certain communications that you have with federally authorized practitioners. Vita tax program See Confidentiality privilege under If Your Return Is Examined , earlier. Vita tax program Appeals to the Courts If you and the IRS still disagree after the appeals conference, you may be entitled to take your case to the United States Tax Court, the United States Court of Federal Claims, or a United States District Court. Vita tax program These courts are independent of the IRS. Vita tax program If you elect to bypass the IRS's appeals system, you may be able to take your case to one of the courts listed above. Vita tax program However, a case petitioned to the United States Tax Court will normally be considered for settlement by an Appeals Officer before the Tax Court hears the case. Vita tax program If you unreasonably fail to pursue the IRS's appeals system, or if your case is intended primarily to cause a delay, or your position is frivolous or groundless, the Tax Court may impose a penalty of up to $25,000. Vita tax program See Appeal Within the IRS, earlier. Vita tax program Prohibition on requests to taxpayers to give up rights to bring civil action. Vita tax program   The Government cannot ask you to waive your right to sue the United States or a Government officer or employee for any action taken in connection with the tax laws. Vita tax program However, your right to sue can be waived if: You knowingly and voluntarily waive that right, The request to waive that right is made in writing to your attorney or other federally authorized practitioner, or The request is made in person and your attorney or other representative is present. Vita tax program Burden of proof. Vita tax program   For court proceedings resulting from examinations started after July 22, 1998, the IRS generally has the burden of proof for any factual issue if you have met the following requirements: You introduced credible evidence relating to the issue. Vita tax program You complied with all substantiation requirements of the Internal Revenue Code. Vita tax program You maintained all records required by the Internal Revenue Code. Vita tax program You cooperated with all reasonable requests by the IRS for information regarding the preparation and related tax treatment of any item reported on your tax return. Vita tax program You had a net worth of $7 million or less and not more than 500 employees at the time your tax liability is contested in any court proceeding if your tax return is for a corporation, partnership, or trust. Vita tax program    The burden of proof does not change on an issue when another provision of the tax laws requires a specific burden of proof with respect to that issue. Vita tax program Use of statistical information. Vita tax program   In the case of an individual, the IRS has the burden of proof in court proceedings based on any IRS reconstruction of income solely through the use of statistical information on unrelated taxpayers. Vita tax program Penalties. Vita tax program   The IRS has the burden of initially producing evidence in court proceedings with respect to the liability of any individual taxpayer for any penalty, addition to tax, or additional amount imposed by the tax laws. Vita tax program Recovering litigation or administrative costs. Vita tax program   These are the expenses that you pay to defend your position to the IRS or the courts. Vita tax program You may be able to recover reasonable litigation or administrative costs if all of the following conditions apply: You are the prevailing party. Vita tax program You exhaust all administrative remedies within the IRS. Vita tax program Your net worth is below a certain limit (see Net worth requirements , later). Vita tax program You do not unreasonably delay the proceeding. Vita tax program You apply for administrative costs within 90 days of the date on which the final decision of the IRS Office of Appeals as to the determination of the tax, interest, or penalty was mailed to you. Vita tax program You apply for litigation costs within the time frames provided by Tax Court Rule 231, found at http://www. Vita tax program ustaxcourt. Vita tax program gov  www. Vita tax program ustaxcourt. Vita tax program gov . Vita tax program   Prevailing party, reasonable litigation costs, and reasonable administrative costs are explained later. Vita tax program Note. Vita tax program If the IRS denies your award of administrative costs, and you want to appeal, you must petition the Tax Court within 90 days of the date on which the IRS mails the denial notice. Vita tax program Prevailing party. Vita tax program   Generally, you are the prevailing party if: You substantially prevail with respect to the amount in controversy or on the most significant tax issue or set of issues in question, and You meet the net worth requirements, discussed later. Vita tax program   You will not be treated as the prevailing party if the United States establishes that its position was substantially justified. Vita tax program The position of the United States is presumed not to be substantially justified if the IRS: Did not follow its applicable published guidance (such as regulations, revenue rulings, notices, announcements, private letter rulings, technical advice memoranda, and determination letters issued to the taxpayer) in the proceeding (This presumption can be overcome by evidence. Vita tax program ), or Has lost in courts of appeal for other circuits on substantially similar issues. Vita tax program   The court will generally decide who is the prevailing party. Vita tax program Reasonable litigation costs. Vita tax program   These include the following costs: Reasonable court costs. Vita tax program The reasonable costs of studies, analyses, engineering reports, tests, or projects found by the court to be necessary for the preparation of your case. Vita tax program The reasonable costs of expert witnesses. Vita tax program Attorney fees that generally may not exceed $125 maximum hourly rate as set by statute and indexed for inflation. Vita tax program See Attorney fees , later. Vita tax program Reasonable administrative costs. Vita tax program   These include the following costs: Any administrative fees or similar charges imposed by the IRS. Vita tax program The reasonable costs of studies, analyses, engineering reports, tests, or projects. Vita tax program The reasonable costs of expert witnesses. Vita tax program Attorney fees that generally may not exceed $125 per hour. Vita tax program See Attorney fees , later. Vita tax program Timing of costs. Vita tax program    Administrative costs can be awarded for costs incurred after the earliest of: The date the first letter of proposed deficiency is sent that allows you an opportunity to request administrative review in the IRS Office of Appeals, The date you receive notice of the IRS Office of Appeals' decision, or The date of the notice of deficiency. Vita tax program Net worth requirements. Vita tax program   An individual taxpayer may be able to recover litigation or administrative costs if the following requirements are met: For individuals — your net worth does not exceed $2 million as of the filing date of your petition for review. Vita tax program For this purpose, individuals filing a joint return are treated as separate individuals. Vita tax program For estates — your net worth does not exceed $2 million as of the date of the decedent's death. Vita tax program For charities and certain cooperatives — you do not have more than 500 employees as of the filing date of your petition for review. Vita tax program For all other taxpayers — as of the filing date of your petition for review, your net worth does not exceed $7 million, and you must not have more than 500 employees. Vita tax program Qualified offer rule. Vita tax program    You can also receive reasonable costs and fees and be treated as a prevailing party in a civil action or proceeding if: You make a qualified offer to the IRS to settle your case, The IRS does not accept that offer, and The tax liability (not including interest, unless interest is at issue) later determined by the court is equal to or less than the amount of your qualified offer. Vita tax program You must also meet the remaining requirements, including the exhaustion of administrative remedies and the net worth requirement, discussed earlier, to get the benefit of the qualified offer rule. Vita tax program Qualified offer. Vita tax program    This is a written offer made by you during the qualified offer period. Vita tax program It must specify both the offered amount of your liability (not including interest) and that it is a qualified offer. Vita tax program   To be a qualified offer, it must remain open from the date it is made until the earliest of: The date it is rejected, The date the trial begins, or 90 days from the date it is made. Vita tax program Qualified offer period. Vita tax program    This period begins on the day the IRS mails you the first letter of proposed deficiency that allows you to request review by the IRS Office of Appeals. Vita tax program It ends 30 days before your case is first set for trial. Vita tax program Attorney fees. Vita tax program   Attorney fees generally may not exceed $125 maximum hourly rate as set by statute and indexed for inflation. Vita tax program However, this amount can be higher in certain limited circumstances depending on the level of difficulty of the issues in the case and the local availability of tax expertise. Vita tax program See IRS. Vita tax program gov for more information. Vita tax program    Attorney fees include the fees paid by a taxpayer for the services of anyone who is authorized to practice before the Tax Court or before the IRS. Vita tax program In addition, attorney fees can be awarded in civil actions for unauthorized inspection or disclosure of a taxpayer's return or return information. Vita tax program   Fees can be awarded in excess of the actual amount charged if: You are represented for no fee, or for a nominal fee, as a pro bono service, and The award is paid to your representative or to your representative's employer. Vita tax program Jurisdiction for determination of employment status. Vita tax program    The Tax Court can review IRS employment status determinations (for example, whether individuals hired by you are in fact your employees or independent contractors) and the amount of employment tax under such determinations. Vita tax program Tax Court review can take place only if, in connection with an audit of any person, there is a controversy involving a determination by the IRS that either: One or more individuals performing services for that person are employees of that person, or That person is not entitled to relief under Section 530(a) of the Revenue Act of 1978 (discussed later). Vita tax program   The following rules also apply to a Tax Court review of employment status: A Tax Court petition to review these determinations can be filed only by the person for whom the services are performed, If you receive a Notice of Determination by certified or registered mail, you must file a petition for Tax Court review within 90 days of the date of mailing that notice (150 days if the notice is addressed to you outside the United States), If during the Tax Court proceeding, you begin to treat as an employee an individual whose employment status is at issue, the Tax Court will not consider that change in its decision, Assessment and collection of tax is suspended while the Tax Court review is taking place, Payment of the asserted employment tax deficiency is not required to petition the U. Vita tax program S. Vita tax program Tax Court for a determination of employment status. Vita tax program There can be a de novo review by the Tax Court (a review which does not consider IRS administrative findings), and At your request and with the Tax Court's agreement, small tax case procedures (discussed later) are available to simplify the case resolution process when the amount at issue (including additions to tax and penalties) is $50,000 or less for each tax period involved. Vita tax program   For further information, see Publication 3953, Questions and Answers About Tax Court Proceedings for Determination of Employment Status Under IRC Section 7436. Vita tax program Section 530(a) of the Revenue Act of 1978. Vita tax program   This section relieves an employer of certain employment tax responsibilities for individuals not treated as employees. Vita tax program It also provides relief to taxpayers under audit or involved in administrative or judicial proceedings. Vita tax program Tax Court review of request for relief from joint and several liability on a joint return. Vita tax program    As discussed later, at Relief from joint and several liability on a joint return under Claims for Refund, you can request relief from liability for tax you owe, plus related penalties and interest, that you believe should be paid by your spouse (or former spouse). Vita tax program You also can petition (ask) the Tax Court to review your request for innocent spouse relief or separation of liability if either: The IRS sends you a determination notice denying, in whole or in part, your request, or You do not receive a determination notice from the IRS within 6 months from the date you file Form 8857. Vita tax program   If you receive a determination notice, you must petition the Tax Court to review your request during the 90-day period that begins on the date the IRS mails the notice. Vita tax program See Publication 971 for more information. Vita tax program Note. Vita tax program Your spouse or former spouse may file a written protest and request an Appeals conference to protest your claim of innocent spouse relief or separation of liability. Vita tax program See Rev. Vita tax program Proc. Vita tax program 2003-19, which is on page 371 of the Internal Revenue Bulletin 2003-5 at  www. Vita tax program irs. Vita tax program gov/pub/irs-irbs/irb03-05. Vita tax program pdf. Vita tax program Tax Court You can take your case to the United States Tax Court if you disagree with the IRS over: Income tax, Estate tax, Gift tax, Employment tax involving IRS employment status determinations, or Certain excise taxes of private foundations, public charities, qualified pension and other retirement plans, or real estate investment trusts. Vita tax program For information on Tax Court review of a determination of employment status, see Jurisdiction for determination of employment status, earlier. Vita tax program For information on Tax Court review of an IRS refusal to abate interest, see Tax Court can review failure to abate interest, earlier under Examination of Returns. Vita tax program For information on Tax Court review of Appeals determinations with respect to lien notices and proposed levies, see Publication 1660. Vita tax program You cannot take your case to the Tax Court before the IRS sends you a notice of deficiency. Vita tax program You can only appeal your case if you file a petition within 90 days from the date the notice is mailed to you (150 days if it is addressed to you outside the United States). Vita tax program The notice will show the 90th (or 150th) day by which you must file your petition with the Tax Court. Vita tax program Withdrawal of notice of deficiency. Vita tax program If you consent, the IRS can withdraw a notice of deficiency. Vita tax program A notice of deficiency may be rescinded if the notice was issued as a result of an administrative error; the taxpayer submits information establishing the actual tax due is less than the amount shown in the notice; the taxpayer specifically requests a conference with the appropriate Appeals office for the purpose of entering into settlement negotiations. Vita tax program However, the notice may be rescinded only if the appropriate Appeals office first decides that the case is susceptible to agreement. Vita tax program See Revenue Procedure 98-54 for a more detailed explanation of the requirements. Vita tax program Once withdrawn, the limits on credits, refunds, and assessments concerning the notice are void, and you and the IRS have the rights and obligations that you had before the notice was issued. Vita tax program The suspension of any time limitation while the notice of deficiency was issued will not change when the notice is withdrawn. Vita tax program After the notice is withdrawn, you cannot file a petition with the Tax Court based on the notice. Vita tax program Also, the IRS can later issue a notice of deficiency in a greater or lesser amount than the amount in the withdrawn deficiency. Vita tax program Generally, the Tax Court hears cases before any tax has been assessed and paid; however, you can pay the tax after the notice of deficiency has been issued and still petition the Tax Court for review. Vita tax program If you do not file your petition on time, the proposed tax will be assessed, a bill will be sent, and you will not be able to take your case to the Tax Court. Vita tax program Under the law, you must pay the tax within 21 days (10 business days if the amount is $100,000 or more). Vita tax program Collection can proceed even if you think that the amount is excessive. Vita tax program Publication 594 explains IRS collection procedures. Vita tax program If you filed your petition on time, the court will schedule your case for trial at a location convenient to you. Vita tax program You can represent yourself before the Tax Court or you can be represented by anyone admitted to practice before that court. Vita tax program Small tax case procedure. Vita tax program   If the amount in your case is $50,000 or less for any 1 tax year or period, you can request that your case be handled under the small tax case procedure. Vita tax program If the Tax Court approves, you can present your case to the Tax Court for a decision that is final and that you cannot appeal. Vita tax program You can get more information regarding the small tax case procedure and other Tax Court matters from the United States Tax Court, 400 Second Street, N. Vita tax program W. Vita tax program , Washington, DC 20217. Vita tax program More information can be found on the Tax Court's website at www. Vita tax program ustaxcourt. Vita tax program gov. Vita tax program Motion to request redetermination of interest. Vita tax program   In certain cases, you can file a motion asking the Tax Court to redetermine the amount of interest on either an underpayment or an overpayment. Vita tax program You can do this only in a situation that meets all of the following requirements: The IRS has assessed a deficiency that was determined by the Tax Court. Vita tax program The assessment included interest. Vita tax program You have paid the entire amount of the deficiency plus the interest claimed by the IRS. Vita tax program The Tax Court has found that you made an overpayment. Vita tax program You must file the motion within one year after the decision of the Tax Court becomes final. Vita tax program District Court and Court of Federal Claims Generally, the District Courts and the Court of Federal Claims hear tax cases only after you have paid the entire tax and penalties, and filed a claim for a credit or refund. Vita tax program The taxpayer may litigate certain types of employment tax cases in either the United States District Court or the United States Court of Federal Claims. Vita tax program Before taxpayers can initiate suit in either of these courts with respect to certain employment taxes, they will have to pay, at a minimum, the employment tax assessment attributable to one employee for any one quarter and file a claim for refund of the tax. Vita tax program Once the claim for refund is denied or 6 months elapse without any action by the IRS, the taxpayer may initiate suit. Vita tax program As explained later under Claims for Refund, you can file a claim with the IRS for a credit or refund if you think that the tax you paid is incorrect or excessive. Vita tax program If your claim is totally or partially disallowed by the IRS, you should receive a notice of claim disallowance. Vita tax program If the IRS does not act on your claim within 6 months from the date you filed it, you can then file suit for a refund. Vita tax program You generally must file suit for a credit or refund no later than 2 years after the IRS informs you that your claim has been rejected. Vita tax program However, you can file suit if it has been 6 months since you filed your claim and the IRS has not yet delivered a decision. Vita tax program You can file suit for a credit or refund in your United States District Court or in the United States Court of Federal Claims. Vita tax program However, you cannot appeal to the United States Court of Federal Claims if your claim is for credit or refund of a penalty that relates to promoting an abusive tax shelter or to aiding and abetting the understatement of tax liability on someone else's return. Vita tax program For information about procedures for filing suit in either court, contact the Clerk of your District Court or of the United States Court of Federal Claims. Vita tax program Refund or Credit of Overpayments Before Final Determination Any court with proper jurisdiction, including the Tax Court, can order the IRS to refund any part of a tax deficiency that the IRS collects from you during a period when the IRS is not permitted to assess that deficiency, or to levy or engage in any court proceeding to collect that deficiency. Vita tax program In addition, the court can order a refund of any part of an overpayment determined by the Tax Court that is not at issue on appeal to a higher court. Vita tax program The court can order these refunds before its decision on the case is final. Vita tax program Taxpayers should thoroughly review IRS settlement offers before signing a Tax Court Decision document to ensure that all adjustments are correct, including the inclusion of any tax credits that the taxpayer is allowed to claim. Vita tax program Note. Vita tax program The court may no longer order a refund of an overpayment after the case is final. Vita tax program Generally, the IRS is not permitted to take action on a tax deficiency during: The 90-day (or 150-day if outside the United States) period that you have to petition a notice of deficiency to the Tax Court, or The period that the case is under appeal if a bond is provided. Vita tax program Claims for Refund If you believe you have overpaid your tax, you have a limited amount of time in which to file a claim for a credit or refund. Vita tax program You can claim a credit or refund by filing Form 1040X. Vita tax program See Time for Filing a Claim for Refund , later. Vita tax program File your claim by mailing it to the IRS Service Center where you filed your original return. Vita tax program File a separate form for each year or period involved. Vita tax program Include an explanation of each item of income, deduction, or credit on which you are basing your claim. Vita tax program Corporations should file Form 1120X, Amended U. Vita tax program S. Vita tax program Corporation Income Tax Return, or other form appropriate to the type of credit or refund claimed. Vita tax program See Publication 3920 for information on filing claims for tax forgiveness for individuals affected by terrorist attacks. Vita tax program Requesting a copy of your tax return. Vita tax program   You can obtain a copy of the actual return and all attachments you filed with the IRS for an earlier year. Vita tax program This includes a copy of the Form W-2 or Form 1099 filed with your return. Vita tax program Use Form 4506 to make your request. Vita tax program You will be charged a fee, which you must pay when you submit Form 4506. Vita tax program Requesting a copy of your tax account information. Vita tax program   Use Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, to request free copies of your tax return transcript, tax account transcript, record of account, verification of nonfiling, or Form W-2, Form 1099 series, Form 1098 series, or Form 5498 series transcript. Vita tax program The tax return transcript contains most of the line items of a tax return. Vita tax program A tax account transcript contains information on the financial status of the account, such as payments, penalty assessments, and adjustments. Vita tax program A record of account is a combination of line item information and later adjustments to the account. Vita tax program Form W-2, Form 1099 series, Form 1098 series, or Form 5498 series transcript contains data from these information returns. Vita tax program Penalty for erroneous claim for refund. Vita tax program   If you claim an excessive amount of tax refund or credit relating to income tax (other than a claim relating to the earned income credit), you may be liable for a penalty of 20% of the amount that is determined to be excessive. Vita tax program An excessive amount is the amount of the claim for refund or credit that is more than the amount of claim allowable for the tax year. Vita tax program The penalty may be waived if you can show that you had a reasonable basis for making the claim. Vita tax program Time for Filing a Claim for Refund Generally, you must file a claim for a credit or refund within 3 years from the date you filed your original return or 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. Vita tax program If you do not file a claim within this period, you may no longer be entitled to a credit or a refund. Vita tax program If the due date to file a return or a claim for a credit or refund is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, it is filed on time if it is filed on the next business day. Vita tax program Returns you filed before the due date are considered filed on the due date. Vita tax program This is true even when the due date is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. Vita tax program Disaster area claims for refund. Vita tax program   If you live in a Presidentially declared disaster area or are affected by terroristic or military action, the deadline to file a claim for a refund may be postponed. Vita tax program This section discusses the special rules that apply to Presidentially declared disaster area refunds. Vita tax program    A Presidentially declared disaster is a disaster that occurred in an area declared by the President to be eligible for federal assistance under the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. Vita tax program Postponed refund deadlines. Vita tax program   The IRS may postpone for up to 1 year the deadlines for filing a claim for refund. Vita tax program The postponement can be used by taxpayers who are affected by a Presidentially declared disaster. Vita tax program The IRS may also postpone deadlines for filing income and employment tax returns, paying income and employment taxes, and making contributions to a traditional IRA or Roth IRA. Vita tax program For more information, see Publication 547. Vita tax program   If any deadline is postponed, the IRS will publicize the postponement in your area and publish a news release, revenue ruling, revenue procedure, notice, announcement, or other guidance in the Internal Revenue Bulletin. Vita tax program A list of the areas eligible for assistance under the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act is available at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website at www. Vita tax program fema. Vita tax program gov and at the IRS website at www. Vita tax program irs. Vita tax program gov. Vita tax program Nonfilers can get refund of overpayments paid within 3-year period. Vita tax program   The Tax Court can consider taxes paid during the 3-year period preceding the date of a notice of deficiency for determining any refund due to a nonfiler. Vita tax program This means that if you do not file your return, and you receive a notice of deficiency in the third year after the due date (with extensions) of your return and file suit with the Tax Court to contest the notice of deficiency, you may be able to receive a refund of excessive amounts paid within the 3-year period preceding the date of the notice of deficiency. Vita tax program The IRS may postpone for up to 1 year certain tax deadlines, including the time for filing claims for refund, for taxpayers who are affected by a terrorist attack occurring after September 10, 2001. Vita tax program For more information, see Publication 3920. Vita tax program Claim for refund by estates electing the installment method of payment. Vita tax program   In certain cases where an estate has elected to make tax payments through the installment method, the executor can file a suit for refund with a U. Vita tax program S. Vita tax program District Court or the U. Vita tax program S. Vita tax program Court of Federal Claims before all the installment payments have been made. Vita tax program However, all the following must be true before a suit can be filed: The estate consists largely of an interest in a closely-held business. Vita tax program All installment payments due on or before the date the suit is filed have been made. Vita tax program No accelerated installment payments have been made. Vita tax program No Tax Court case is pending with respect to any estate tax liability. Vita tax program If a notice of deficiency was issued to the estate regarding its liability for estate tax, the time for petitioning the Tax Court has passed. Vita tax program No proceeding is pending for a declaratory judgment by the Tax Court on whether the estate is eligible to pay tax in installments. Vita tax program The executor has not included any previously litigated issues in the current suit for refund. Vita tax program The executor does not discontinue making installment payments timely, while the court considers the suit for refund. Vita tax program    If in its final decision on the suit for refund the court redetermines the estate's tax liability, the IRS must refund any part of the estate tax amount that is disallowed. Vita tax program This includes any part of the disallowed amount previously collected by the IRS. Vita tax program Protective claim for refund. Vita tax program   If your right to a refund is contingent on future events and may not be determinable until after the time period for filing a claim for refund expires, you can file a protective claim for refund. Vita tax program A protective claim can be either a formal claim or an amended return for credit or refund. Vita tax program Protective claims are often based on current litigation or expected changes in the tax law, other legislation, or regulations. Vita tax program A protective claim preserves your right to claim a refund when the contingency is resolved. Vita tax program A protective claim does not have to state a particular dollar amount or demand an immediate refund. Vita tax program However, to be valid, a protective claim must: Be in writing and be signed, Include your name, address, social security number or individual taxpayer identification number, and other contact information, Identify and describe the contingencies affecting the claim, Clearly alert the IRS to the essential nature of the claim, and Identify the specific year(s) for which a refund is sought. Vita tax program   Generally, the IRS will delay action on the protective claim until the contingency is resolved. Vita tax program Once the contingency is resolved, the IRS may obtain additional information necessary to process the claim and then either allow or disallow the claim. Vita tax program   Mail your protective claim for refund to the address listed in the instructions for Form 1040X, under Where To File. Vita tax program Exceptions The limits on your claim for refund can be affected by the type of item that forms the basis of your claim. Vita tax program Special refunds. Vita tax program   If you file a claim for refund based on one of the items listed below, the limits discussed earlier under Time for Filing a Claim for Refund may not apply. Vita tax program These special items are: A bad debt, A worthless security, A payment or accrual of foreign tax, A net operating loss carryback, and A carryback of certain tax credits. Vita tax program   The limits discussed earlier also may not apply if you have signed an agreement to extend the period of assessment of tax. Vita tax program For information on special rules on filing claims for an individual affected by a terrorist attack, see Publication 3920. Vita tax program Periods of financial disability. Vita tax program   If you are an individual (not a corporation or other taxpaying entity), the period of limitations on credits and refunds can be suspended during periods when you cannot manage your financial affairs because of physical or mental impairment that is medically determinable and either: Has lasted or can be expected to last continuously for at least 12 months, or Can be expected to result in death. Vita tax program    The period for filing a claim for refund will not be suspended for any time that someone else, such as your spouse or guardian, was authorized to act for you in financial matters. Vita tax program   To claim financial disability, you generally must submit the following statements with your claim for credit or refund: A written statement signed by a physician, qualified to make the determination, that sets forth: The name and a description of your physical or mental impairment, The physician's medical opinion that your physical or mental impairment prevented you from managing your financial affairs, The physician's medical opinion that your physical or mental impairment was or can be expected to result in death, or that it has lasted (or can be expected to last) for a continuous period of not less than 12 months, and To the best of the physician's knowledge, the specific time period during which you were prevented by such physical or mental impairment from managing your financial affairs, and A written statement by the person signing the claim for credit or refund that no person, including your spouse, was authorized to act on your behalf in financial matters during the period described in paragraph (1)(d) of the physician's statement. Vita tax program Alternatively, if a person was authorized to act on your behalf in financial matters during any part of the period described in that paragraph, the beginning and ending dates of the period of time the person was so authorized. Vita tax program    The period of limitations will not be suspended on any claim for refund that (without regard to this provision) was barred as of July 22, 1998. Vita tax program Limit on Amount of Refund If you file your claim within 3 years after filing your return, the credit or refund cannot be more than the part of the tax paid wi