The IRS Office of Chief Counsel issued Chief Counsel Notice 2012-012, effectively stating that under certain conditions there is no statute of limitations for suits in District Court or the Federal Court of Claims for refund of overpayment of any tax. The CCN analyzes I.R.C. section 6532, which requires that a taxpayer wait six months from the filing of an administrative refund claim to sue in District or Federal Claims Court; the IRS can issue a notice of claim disallowance in that six-month window, in which case the taxpayer has two years to sue for refund.
Revenue Ruling 56-381 states that if the IRS has not issued a notice of claim disallowance, the taxpayer has not waived their right to receive that notice; as a result, the two years statute of limitations is not triggered. Thus, under CCN 2012-012, if a taxpayer has filed an administrative refund claim and never receives a notice of claim disallowance from the IRS, they can file a suit in District or Federal Claims Court at any time.
The CCN also analyzes 28 U.S.C. § 2401, which states generally that claims against the government must be filed within a six-year statute of limitations. Several Courts have used 28 U.S.C. § 2401 to deny claims for refunds after the six-year period, but the Chief Counsel Notice argues that the general period established by 2401 was replaced by 6532. As a result, if the IRS does not issue a notice of claim disallowance, the CCN argues that a taxpayer can file a refund suit in District or Claims Court at any time, including after the six-year general period for claims against the government has elapsed.