How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Merlo Your Own Question
Merlo, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 9783
Experience:  25+ years tax consulting. Specializing in returns for US citizens living abroad
Type Your Tax Question Here...
Merlo is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have been audited by New York state and they say i owe them

Customer Question

I have been audited by New York state and they say i owe them money for not filing in 2004. I have my paper work filed with H&R Block stating i was owed money from that year but i never received it. Should I refile this tax year and what will be the penalty?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Merlo replied 8 years ago.

If you were due a refund for the year 2004 but never received it, then it sounds as though perhaps your return was lost in the mail, or possibly your tax preparer never made the electronic filing. In either case, you definitely need to refile your state return for that year.

Unfortunately, refunds from the state of New York cannot be claimed once they are 3 years past the original due date of the return, so you would no longer be entitled to any refund which you may have been due. However, since you owed no tax to the state on your 2004 return, then there should be no penalties or interest assessed once you file your return. That would only apply if you owed them additional tax money, over and above any amount that you had already paid in through the year through employment withholding or estimated payments.

If this was helpful please press the Accept button. Positive feedback is also appreciated.

Thank you.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Even if i have proof and the paperwork stating i sent my return to them? That doesnt seem right if perhaps mail has gotten misplaced and never arrived to the destination. I'm owed almost 700 dollars but you're saying because of the 3 yrs I have no chance of ever receiving this money??
Expert:  Merlo replied 8 years ago.
Hello rawby,

I cannot say that you have no chance of ever receiving this money. That would obviously be up to the state of NY if they are willing to make an exception in your case.   All I can tell you is what the NY law is, and actually the NY law is the same as the IRS -- and that is that no refunds will be issued to taxpayers for any tax years filed or amended more than 3 years beyond the original due date of the return.

I do understand your frustration in such a situation, but the state would likely take the position that if you were due a refund of $700 and never received it, that should have alerted you to the fact that possibly your return was never received or processed, and prompted you at that point to make a call or write them a letter to find out where your refund was. If you had done that within the 3 year allowed time period, then you could still easily get any refund that you were due.

If you have actual proof that you submitted your return, such as a certified mail receipt, or if H&R Block was supposed to have filed electronically and you can get a statement from them to that effect, that would certainly help your chances in appealing this. But without actual proof that your return was submitted, it will probably be a little bit of a battle to still get any refund for that tax year.

If I were you, I would go ahead and submit your return for that year along with a letter of explanation and any proof that you have that your return was submitted by the original due date. If they find that what you submit to them is reasonable proof, then they may allow some consideration in your case, but there is no way to say for certain how they may rule on this. I do know that if you had no additional tax liability for that year, then you would not be assessed any penalties or interest.

If this was helpful please press the Accept button. Positive feedback is also appreciated.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX of luck in getting this resolved. I hope everything works out in your favor here.