I sold my U.S. property last year and FIRPTA withholding was submitted to IRS. I have mailed in my tax return to report the transaction but so far I have not received my refund. How long does this normally take?
Generally, any refund is issued in around 8 weeks. If you still hold a U.S. bank account and the details were included in your return, the refund may be processed in around 6 weeks.
To check if your refund has been issued, go to www.irs.gov “where’s my refund”. Follow the instructions to input your ITIN, filing status and the amount of expected refund (this information is available on pages 1 and 2 of Form 1040NR) to view the status of your refund.
Unfortunately, there are many instances where the original withholding funds are not correctly allocated by the IRS. This can happen where one or more of the parties involved in the sale/purchase did not have U.S. taxpayer identification numbers (EIN, SSN, ITIN). If withholding funds cannot be
located, the “where’s my refund” site may advise that a notice has been mailed and an adjustment made to your account.
As soon as the notice is received a response must be filed along with proof of submission of funds. The information can normally be obtained from your title company or the accountant that handled your FIRPTA filing. Once this information is received the IRS may take a further 12 weeks to update their records and issue your refund which may be in the form of a paper $$$ check mailed to the home address shown on page 1 of Form 1040NR.
Remember, you only have a limited time to apply for a refund of withholding – three years from the original filing deadline. If you sold your property in 2011 then you must file your tax return to report the sale and obtain any refund by June 15th, 2015 or your funds will be retained by the Department of Treasury.
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