While I was on F1 Visa, my employer witheld social security and medicare taxes for me in error, and has declined to process a refund. IRS has a form 843, which allows you to petition IRS for a refund of this nature. The form says that you may properly request for a refund in a certain amount of time. Here is what it says:

Generally, you must file a claim for a credit or refund within 3 years from the date you filed your original return or 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later

Can someone please explain me the meaning of this? What is meant by "original return" here? and what is considered to be the date I "paid the tax"?

Suppose my employer wrongly withheld my taxes in year 2013, all year. How long do I have to ask for a refund in this case?

  • Does it really matter? Just file.
    – littleadv
    Apr 14, 2015 at 7:45

1 Answer 1


To answer your question let's use your example for your tax withholding in 2013. You have 3 years from the time you file your 2013 tax return. So let's say you filed your return by the deadline (April 15, 2014), then you have to file for a refund within 3 years - April 15, 2017.

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