IRS Extends Lookback Period for Refund Claims Related to Pandemic

February 27, 2023

The IRS recently issued Notice 2023-21 to extend the lookback period for refund claims for tax returns with due dates that were postponed due to the pandemic.

In 2020 and 2021, the IRS issued Notice 2020-23 and Notice 2021-21 to postpone certain tax return filing due dates due to COVID-19. However, the notices did not extend the lookback period for refund claims for the returns under Section 6511(b)(2)(A) of the Tax Code, the limitation period on filing a claim for a credit or refund. If payments fall outside the lookback period, a taxpayer cannot be refunded those payments. This resulted in taxpayers who used the postponed filing deadlines for 2019 or 2020 being denied some credits or refunds.

The new notice remedies this issue by disregarding the period of postponement for filing returns for tax years 2019 and 2020 to determine the beginning of the lookback period, restoring alignment between the claim for credit or refund period and the lookback period.

Notice 2023-21 is expected to be published in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2023-11, dated March 13, 2023.