You certainly can amend your 2008 tax return again. And once you do, it will likely be assigned to a processor who can assist if necessary. You may also want to consider contacting the Tax Advocate in your area. Check the IRS web site (www.irs.gov) for details.
Evan A. Nielsen
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Evan A. Nielsen is licensed to practice law in California. The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice for a particular matter. This response does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult an attorney.
As I understand current tax laws, tax returns can be amended for a period of three years from the date of the filing of the return. It is possible (but unlikely, if filed timely) that you would be able to amend your 2008 return, depending on when in 2009 it was filed .
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No revenue agent is sympathetic. And no, you cannot request a certain revenue agent. There is no system in place for that sort of thing. In fact, there is a system in place to ensure that kind of thing does not happen. Otherwise everyone would want to speak to the nice revenue agent.
Statute of limitation issues have a number of nuances and it depends upon the facts and you have not given all necessary facts to give a bright line yes -or- no.
Speaking in stark generalities, not assessing any merits or facts specific to your case, the SOL would typically run on 10/15/12 at the latest for an individual to timely file a 1040x for TY 2008 ... however if the "bungled amendment" from 2011 you referenced involved you paying additional tax, then the date of paying additional tax would control and you would have two years from the date you paid the additional tax.
There is always help available at a local Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) if you can't retain counsel or a clever CPA to assist with your income taxes - just google where the closest one is to you and seek assistance as necessary on a go-forward basis.
You can always amend if you owe more money as a result. You just cannot get any money back after three years from the filing date. They will be glad to have a corrected return.
As far as sympathy, your penalty will likely be assessed by a computer that is about as compassionate as a cruise missile. If you owe under 50k, you will likely be assigned to IRS automated collections, where you can actually call back until you get somebody nicer. If you owe over 50k, you will likely be assigned to a Revenue Officer and they will not change. You will get what you get.
I agree with Mr. Nielsen and Mr. Larson. In particular, Mr. Nielsen's advice is good regarding contacting the Taxpayer Advocate. However little money you have you need a good accountant with some background in these type of tax controversies, or ideally a lawyer who practices in this area. You are not going to likely be able to amend the return yourself. If you can find a tax preparer to complete the return, you may be able to work this out with the IRS through the Taxpayer Advocate. At the very least the Taxpayer Advocate can tell you what items the IRS disallowed on examination, what if any time frames you are under for filing certain procedural forms, and direct you to the proper IRS forms. Ultimately, if you get a proper amended return prepared and you file it, and I'm assuming there was an audit case to disallow your claimed losses, then your case will be sent to the Audit Reconsideration Unit and a Revenue Officer will be assigned. You are stating you are currently in CNC status, so it sounds like you don't have much money to pay this debt. You need to balance two things here. On the one hand, after speaking to a tax preparer, you may be able to significantly reduce the liability owed. On the other hand, while your case is not as Mr. Larson suggested, likely to arouse much sympathy from a Revenue Officer, it does make you a more attractive candidate for an Offer-in-Compromise. Assuming you have no assets and low household income, but somehow could pull together from family, friends, and credit a small lump sum payment -- you may be able to settle the debt for a lump sum. I don't know how high the liability is. If it is over $50K, it is probably worth hiring an attorney to work on an Offer for you. This, of course, depends on all your income/expense/asset information. You won't know if the math works until you talk to someone. The good news is that the IRS has a "Fresh Start" program right now where they will accept your monthly disposable income (using IRS calculations and National Standards), whatever that number is, times 12 months, plus the liquidation value of your assets, in full satisfaction of your tax debt. The bad news is, you probably have a state tax problem to worry about, but they just have not caught up to you yet. Depending on the balances owed, I would highly recommend consulting with some local tax attorneys and hiring someone to work on this for you. Whatever you end up paying an accountant and tax attorney, I think it will ultimately be money well spent if it relieves you from the anxiety and pressure and the sleepless nights this is no doubt causing. However, in conclusion, and back to Mr. Nielsen's point -- Step 1 should be to contact the Taxpayer Advocate and tell them your issue and see if they can help. You can follow the link Mr. Nielsen provided and you may want to fill out Form 911, which you can fax over to get an Advocate assigned.