Hello, unfortunately the 3 year is pretty strict. There are some exceptions that may apply to certain people, but I don't think you qualify for them. The exception may be some type of complete medical handicap or something to that degree. Someone else's medical condition is probably stretching it.
Here is some information from the IRS website:
Nonetheless, there is no harm in trying and you do have to file your IRS tax returns if you meet the filing requirements. Getting an attorney may be helpful in drafting an argument to the IRS for the refund, so that may be your best bet. Good luck!
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Mr. Cortez is unfortunately correct. The Internal Revenue Code provides that a refund claim must be filed within 3 years from the date the return was filed or 2 years after the tax was paid, whichever period expires later. If you prepaid your taxes for 2006-2008 by making estimated tax payments or you are a W-2 wage earner who had income taxes withheld from your wages, then the payment is deemed to have been made as of April 15th of the year after the calendar year in question. Thus, any income tax withheld from your wages during 2008 would be deemed to have been made on 4/15/2009, and the 3 year refund claims statute of limitations expired on 4/15/2012.
Although you had difficulty in timely filing your returns claiming refunds due to numerous adverse events, the only way the refund statute of limitations can be suspended is if you were "financially disabled" during that specific period in your life. The Code considers that an individual is "financially disabled" if he/she is "unable to manage his financial affairs by reason of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment of the individual which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months." IRC Sec. 6511(h)(2). Moreover, "[a]n individual shall not be considered to have such an impairment unless proof of the existence thereof is furnished in such form and manner as the Secretary may require." Id. Financial disability is obviously a very high standard to meet. Based upon the facts that you have outlined, you would probably have an extremely difficult time in meeting that standard.
Nevertheless, even though it is probably too late for you to obtain refunds for the years 2006-2008, you still are required to file tax returns if your income exceeded certain amounts (i.e., the sum of the allowable standard deduction and personal exemption for any given year). By filing returns for 2006-2008, you will at least trigger running of the usual 3 year statute of limitations for the Government to assess additional taxes against you. Otherwise, absent your filing of any returns, the IRS has unlimited time to assess taxes against you. I suggest that you hire a tax preparer or CPA to prepare your delinquent returns, assuming you earned above the filing threshold amounts in 2006-2008.
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I wish there was more to add. But unfortunately, even with the sad series of surrounding events, IRS cannot expand its rules beyond what Congress has authorized. The 3-year rule is pretty set into the law. Good luck to you.
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