TN 8 (05-95)

GN 05010.136 IRS Tax Refunds

A. Background

If SSA cannot pay a tax refund, the beneficiary must file with IRS for this refund.

The IRC provides time limits for issuing refunds. Generally, a refund request must be filed within:

  • 3 years of the date the return for the year in question was filed; or

  • 2 years of the date the tax was paid, whichever expires later.

If taxpayer did not file a return, the refund request must be filed within 2 years of the date the tax was paid. Taxes withheld from the Social Security benefits of individuals who do not file tax returns are considered paid on the date the tax return for the year in question was due.

B. Policy

Advise beneficiaries promptly of refunds for which they must file with IRS.

NOTE: Generally, SSA is not concerned with whether IRS has refunded tax withheld from a beneficiary's benefits. However, IRS has indicated it will furnish individual case information if needed.

C. Procedure

1. General

If information is needed about whether IRS has refunded taxes, refer the case to the Office of International Programs (OIP). Include in the referral the reason the IRS information is needed.

2. Inquiries

Answer general questions about the effect of the nonresident alien withholding tax on Social Security benefits.

Do not answer questions about tax liability. Advise beneficiaries to refer these questions to: Internal Revenue Service, International Returns Section, P.O. Box 920, Bensalem, PA 19020-8518.

See GN 05010.136D. if a beneficiary must file with IRS for a refund and asks about processing dates.

D. Process

Requests for refunds are normally processed by IRS after the close of the tax year in question as follows:

Status on the Last Day of the Tax YearBasis on Which Income ReportedWhen Return Must Be Filed*File Return With
Nonresident alienCalendar yearNo later than June 15 of the year following the tax year involved
Internal Revenue Service
Center, Austin, TX 73301
Nonresident alienOther than a calendar yearNo later than 15th day of 6th month following close of tax year involvedSame
Resident alienCalendar yearNo later than April 15 of year following tax year involvedInternal Revenue office servicing individual's address, as shown in Form 1040 instructions
Resident alienOther than a calendar yearNo later than the 15th day of 4th month following close of tax year involvedSame

*If this falls on Saturday, Sunday or a legal holiday in the U.S., the due date is the next business day. Amended returns generally must be filed within 3 years of the date the original Federal tax return was filed.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0205010136
GN 05010.136 - IRS Tax Refunds - 12/07/2007
Batch run: 01/27/2009
Rev:12/07/2007