Last year, the IRS garnished my wages to collect payment for 2010 tax year. They calculated themselves that I owed $800. Recently, I went back and calculated my 2010 taxes and realized I didn't owe anything. I filed my 2010 taxes and mailed it in. I haven't heard anything as of yet, but wondering what the laws are on this.
First, since you are more than 2 years past the date for filing, you are not entitled to a refund. Secondly, the IRS filed a "Substitute for Return" when you failed to file 2010. They probably not accepting your return. Finally, please make sure you file 2011-2013 if you have not done so already,
I hope this helps!
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Generally speaking, you can only get a refund for overpaid taxes if the refund request is either (a) filed within 3 years of the due date of the return in question, or (b) with respect to a particular payment of tax - a garnishment should count as a "payment" - within two years from the date of the payment, provided this date is outside the general three-year period in (a). There are some other exceptions but they don't appear to apply to your description.
In your case, filing the return counts as a request for refund. Since you appear to have filed that return within the two-year period following the date of the garnishment (I can't tell for sure since I don't have the specific dates), you should be able to get a refund of the garnished amount provided the IRS agrees with the return you filed.
Timewise, you don't say when you filed the return in question, but since the return is late and is seeking a refund of overpaid amounts, including the garnishment, the IRS is going to examine the return more fully than it might otherwise do.
One thing you might do to try and get a broad estimate of where the IRS is with processing that return is to go online to the IRS website and obtain a copy of your Account Transcript for 2010. That transcript generally shows the date a return was filed, the date it was processed, and contains summaries of the significant steps the IRS has taken on the account.
My answer does not constitute legal advice and may not be relied upon by anyone for any purpose and does not constitute an attorney/client relationship or an offer to form such a relationship. This disclaimer is intended to be fully compliant with the requirements of Treasury Department Circular 230 and the terms thereof are fully incorporated by reference.
I am only going to comment on timing of a refund. The California FTB takes 6 months to process a return as old as 2010. The refund follows months later. The IRS may be faster but I can only suggest that you be patient.
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