Is there a statute of limitations period to claim a tax refund?

Question: I filed a tax return late which showed a refund.  The IRS sent me a letter denying my refund stating that I was not timely.  Is there a statute of limitations period to claim a tax refund?

Answer: Yes. Generally speaking, you have the later of 3 years from the return due date of a timely filed return plus extensions, if applicable, or 2 years from the time you “paid” the tax to claim a tax refund.  An exception that can extend the time to file a claim for refund may include service in a combat zone, a refund claim involving an item with a filing period in excess of the general 3 year period, or a financial disability.  A financial disability is defined by the Federal Tax Code as being unable to manage your financial affairs by reason of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months.