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This is true, a taxpayer has 3 years to claim a refund, otherwise they forfeit it. As the 2008 return would have been due 4/15/2009, unless an extension was filed, you would have had to claim the refund no later than 4/15/2012. When did you file the amended return for 2008? SEE BELOW:
Statute of Limitations for Claims
According to IRC 6511(a), a claim must be filed before the later of:
Three years from the date on which the return was filed, or
Two years from the date on which the tax
The filing of a claim for refund keeps the statute open only with respect to the claim.
If other issues exist and the statute on the original return is about to expire, a statute extension should be secured for the return on which the claim is based.
If the statute of limitations has expired, adjustments to the return may be made only up to the amount of the claim.
The statute of limitations for filing a claim is suspended under certain circumstances:
If a taxpayer makes a credible claim that he/she is unable to manage his/her financial affairs by reason of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment (e.g., "financially disabled" ) as defined in IRC 6511(h)(2)), additional time may be allowed to file a claim.
The statute of limitations will be suspended for the period of time the taxpayer is "financially disabled" .
Please let me know if I can be of further assistance to you regarding this matter.