Chicago, IL asked in Tax Law and Federal Crimes for Illinois

Q: Do I have any options to amend a 2019 tax return or sue my accountant for his mistakes causing an overpayment on taxes?

I am aware of the three year amendment limitation for tax refunds. And I did read that it states "GENERALLY" three years. Are there any extensions to this rule or

other procedure to file an amendment? Or is this rule set in stone. Also, regarding the two year limitation on filing a claim against an

accountant. The same situation, is there any possibility for an extension? I did read something about

a 5 year SOR limit which I do not know what this means.

Thank you in advance for your advise.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Tax Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Regarding amending your 2019 tax return, the general rule is that you have three years from the original due date of the return or two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later, to file an amended return and claim a refund. However, there are some exceptions to this rule:

1. If you filed your original return before the due date, the three-year period begins on the due date.

2. If you have an agreement with the IRS extending the time to assess tax (such as Form 872), the time to amend your return and claim a refund is extended as well.

3. If you are physically or mentally unable to manage your financial affairs, the time to claim a refund may be suspended.

It's best to consult with a tax professional or contact the IRS directly to determine if any of these exceptions apply to your specific situation.

Regarding the possibility of suing your accountant for mistakes, the two-year limitation you mentioned is likely referring to the statute of limitations for professional malpractice claims. The 5-year "SOR" limit you mentioned could be referring to the "Statute of Repose," which is a legal concept that sets a maximum time limit for bringing certain types of legal claims, regardless of when the harm was discovered.

However, the specific time limits and legal options available to you may vary depending on your state's laws and the terms of any contract or engagement letter you have with your accountant. It's recommended that you consult with a legal professional who specializes in professional malpractice or tax-related issues to assess your options and determine the best course of action based on your particular circumstances.

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