Tax Tip of the Week
Amended Returns Not Eligible
An Update on the "Postmark Rule"
As a general rule, a tax return is deemed filed on-time if it was mailed and postmarked on or before the due date of the return. (In this day of electronic filing this is less of an issue). It is also a general rule that a taxpayer has three years (including extensions) after the date they filed the original return to file an amended return.
In a recent Chief Counsel Advice ruling, a corporation found out the hard way that the “postmark rule” does not apply to amended returns. Here is what happened: a corporation timely filed its tax return on October 14, 2007. Exactly three years after the original return was filed, the corporation filed an amended return and ensured it was postmarked on October 14, 2010. The IRS sent a letter stating that the amended return, and the subsequent tax savings requested, would not be granted because the statute of limitations to file an amended return had expired. It appears the IRS did not mark the amended return as received until October 18, 2010.
The corporation argued they had proof (a postal receipt) that showed the amended return was timely filed. The IRS responded that, “the postmark rule applies only to returns that are required to be filed. This rule does not apply to amended returns because amended returns are not required to be filed by Internal Revenue laws.”
This ruling is important to remember because we can still not electronically file amended returns and have the guaranteed date stamp that electronic filing offers.
The IRS loves to live by their rules! Get those amended returns to the post office early!
As always, give us a call if you have any questions.
You can contact us in Xenia at 937-372-3504. Or visit our website.