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What is Form 1045: Application for a Tentative Refund?

IRS Link to Form — Found Here

Form 1045: Application for a Tentative Refund is an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) form that provides individuals, estates, and trusts with the opportunity to claim a quick refund on their taxes. This form offers an expedited process for refund requests related to specific types of losses, allowing taxpayers to receive their refunds promptly. In this article, we will explore the purpose and eligibility criteria for Form 1045, its key features, and the filing process.

Understanding Form 1045 and Eligibility Criteria

Form 1045 enables taxpayers to request a refund in certain circumstances, primarily when they have experienced losses in their business activities. The IRS instructions for Form 1045 specify four qualifying reasons for refund requests:

  1. Carryback of a net operating loss (NOL): Taxpayers can carry back NOLs arising from tax years after 2017 to a later year, following the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

  2. Carryback of an unused general business credit: If taxpayers have unused general business credits, they can carry them back to a previous tax year.

  3. Carryback of a net section 1256 contracts loss: Section 1256 allows for the carryback of losses from futures contract investing within a three-year timeframe.

  4. Overpayment of tax due to a claim of right adjustment under section 1341(b)(1): Taxpayers who have made a claim of right adjustment resulting in an overpayment of taxes are eligible to seek a refund through Form 1045.

Who Can File Form 1045?

Individuals, estates, and trusts can file Form 1045 instead of using Form 1040-X for individuals or Form 1041 for estates or trusts. The advantage of Form 1045 is its expedited processing time. The IRS is required to process Form 1045 within 90 days of filing, whereas Forms 1040-X and 1041 can take up to six months for processing. However, it is important to note that Form 1045 is considered a tentative refund, and the IRS or the taxpaying entity can dispute it after processing.

Filing Process for Form 1045

Taxpayers must file Form 1045 within one year after the end of the year in which the triggering incident (NOL, unused credit, net section 1256 contracts loss, or claim of right adjustment) occurred. The filing process involves several key steps:

  1. Personal Information: The first part of the form requires the taxpayer to provide personal details, including their name, address, and Social Security number.

  2. Carryback Details: The next section involves answering questions related to the nature of the carryback. Taxpayers need to provide accurate information regarding the type of loss and the applicable tax year(s).

  3. Calculation of Decrease in Tax: Taxpayers must calculate the amount of tax decrease resulting from the carryback for each year before the occurrence of the loss or unused credit.

  4. Signature and Date: Finally, the taxpayer, along with the tax preparer (if applicable), must sign and date the form.

Form 1045's Benefits and Limitations

Form 1045 offers several benefits, making it an attractive option for taxpayers seeking a quick refund. Its expedited processing time ensures that individuals, estates, and trusts receive their refunds within 90 days of filing. Moreover, it allows for carry-back refunds of up to five years for certain situations, such as net operating losses and section 1256 losses.

However, it is essential to weigh the limitations of Form 1045. Taxpayers should be cautious when carrying back net operating losses, as it may result in an alternative minimum tax (AMT) obligation. Additionally, Form 1045 is considered a tentative refund, meaning it can be disputed by the IRS or the taxpaying entity after processing. Individuals or entities seeking accuracy over speed may opt for Form 1040-X or Form 1041 instead.

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Disclaimers and Limitations

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