I recently (in 2013) received a From 4549-A from the IRS for tax year 2006? I had assumed that after 3 years, no review of or change to my taxes could occur, but clearly it is possible (for the IRS, at least) to make changes to returns much older than 3 years. Does receiving a 4549 for a particular tax year mean that I can make my own changes to the return (I significantly overpaid that year's taxes)?

  • They can go back farther if they suspect fraud. Apr 13, 2013 at 21:54
  • The change is a simple adjustment, based some straightforward paperwork filed by a firm I worked for at the time pertaining their international tax status. Once a return has been "reopened" in this way, can I also make changes?
    – orome
    Apr 13, 2013 at 22:00
  • did they include a form/section asking you to extend the statute of limitations? Apr 13, 2013 at 22:32

1 Answer 1


No, you cannot request refund for more than 3 years back, since the statute of limitations is 3 years.

They can look back up to 3 years for any reason, up to 6 years if there's significant understatement of tax liability or under-reported income, and without limitations if there's suspicion of fraud.

You should not sign or agree to anything before you talk to a tax professional.

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