The IRS’s published expected processing time for amended returns is 16 weeks. However, the IRS fails to advise taxpayers that if their amended returns are audited, processing will take significantly longer. One of the steps in the process, assigning an amended return that has been selected for audit to an examiner (who contacts the taxpayer) and opening the audit, alone took an estimated median of three to nine weeks for individual amended returns, and 14 to 16 weeks for corporate amended returns. Moreover, when taxpayers file an amended return to request a reduction in an assessed tax that remains unpaid, i.e., a request for abatement, the IRS sometimes refuses to consider the claim and issues a form letter rejecting the claim without an adequate explanation to the taxpayer. Although the IRS has the authority to consider these claims, the form letter simply states the law does not allow a claim to reduce tax owed and instructs the taxpayer to pay the tax followed by another amended return.
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