Each year as spring quickly approaches, the focus for many business and individuals becomes getting their taxes in order by the usual Tax Day of April 15th. Depending on the state of an entity’s taxes and submission, a refund may be a possibility. But for those who feel they were not compensated with a proper tax refund; legal action may be required.
Harold “Hap” May Attorneys at Law are well versed in refund claims and stand ready to intercede on behalf of businesses and individuals who think they have been shortchanged with their tax refund. We will work to come to a more acceptable resolution for the client and are prepared to represent them in a court of law if necessary.
What Are Refund Claims?
Filing taxes, whether it be for a corporation, small business, or individual, is an intricate process. Many taxpayers spend hours working with a tax professional to prepare their tax returns for submission. To that end, most hope to be entitled to a tax refund shortly after.
A refund claim may need to come into play if a taxpayer does not receive the refund they believe they are entitled to. In other words, a refund claim is a written request submitted to the Internal Revenue Service asking them to refund taxes or interests that a taxpayer potentially overpaid.
This situation can be handled in a one to three-step process depending on a taxpayer’s success with steps one and two:
- Filing a refund claim for administrative review
- Appealing the decision
- Taking the case to court
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon when filing a refund claim through administrative channels for the situation to remain largely unchanged. In order to move a challenge forward, it may require more active representation by a tax attorney who has experience with dispute resolution.
Filing A Refund Claim
If a taxpayer is unhappy with the state of their tax refund and thinks an error has been made, the Internal Revenue Service requires that they file a refund claim. The purpose of the claim is to allow the IRS an opportunity to review it administratively and take any necessary actions before the situation escalates to litigation.
Although filing a refund claim sounds simple, it is important to note that unless the below guidelines are followed, a refund claim could be considered invalid:
Fill out the right form
Filing a refund claim is not a one size fits all matter. Depending on if the taxpayer defines themselves as an individual or a business, they must use the proper corresponding form to file the claim. Our attorneys can help clients discern which form is most appropriate.
Observe refund claim deadlines
Refund claims should usually be filed no later than three years after the return in question was filed or two years after the tax was paid. Typically, taxpayers go by whichever of these events happened later and proceed accordingly.
Find the right location
Usually refund claims must be filed with an Internal Revenue Service location for the state the taxpayer officially resides in and also where the tax return in question was originally filed.
Submit the proper form
Once the refund claim has been completed and the above guidelines have been correctly observed, the requesting party should submit the form to the predetermined location via a reputable delivery service, certified mail, or as directed by the IRS center.
How A Tax Attorney Can Help
Some businesses and individuals are tempted to file a refund claim themselves. Especially for those without any existing knowledge of how to submit refund claims or communicate with the Internal Revenue Service, this can be a poor choice.
We have experience with compiling and submitting tax refund claims. This includes an intimate understanding of the information the form is looking for and how to follow the guidelines required for the claim to be considered valid. Having an attorney assist you with this first step of the refund claim process may be enough for a resolution of the problem when done correctly.
However, for those who are still not pleased with the actions taken after an IRS refund claim is reviewed, an appeal may be necessary, and our attorneys are ready to help with that too.
Lastly, if both the refund claim and appeal offer no solutions, we can assist by filing a lawsuit and pursuing legal actions against the appropriate entities.
What A Client Can Do to Help
Clients wanting to pursue a refund claim can help themselves and their legal representation by enlisting help early on, such as before a tax return is filed. This could potentially make a refund claim a nonissue in some situations.
If a tax refund is unsatisfactory, have a reputable and experienced attorney work with you to file the refund claim. This continuity is particularly helpful if the claim is appealed and eventually taken to court.