Montana Code Annotated 2003

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     15-30-149. Credits and refunds -- period of limitations. (1) If the department discovers from the examination of a return or upon claim duly filed by a taxpayer or upon final judgment of a court that the amount of income tax collected is in excess of the amount due or that any penalty or interest was erroneously or illegally collected, the amount of the overpayment must be credited against any income tax, penalty, or interest then due from the taxpayer and the balance of the excess must be refunded to the taxpayer.
     (2) (a) A credit or refund under the provisions of this section may be allowed only if, prior to the expiration of the period provided by 15-30-146 and 15-30-147, the taxpayer files a claim or the department determines there has been an overpayment.
     (b) If an overpayment of tax results from a net operating loss carryback, the overpayment may be refunded or credited within the period that expires on the 15th day of the 40th month following the close of the taxable year of the net operating loss if that period expires later than 5 years from the due date of the return for the year to which the net operating loss is carried back.
     (3) Within 6 months after a claim for refund is filed, the department shall examine the claim and either approve or disapprove it. If the claim is approved, the credit or refund must be made to the taxpayer within 60 days after the claim is approved. If the claim is disallowed, the department shall notify the taxpayer and a review of the determination of the department may be pursued as provided in 15-1-211.
     (4) Interest is allowed on overpayments at the same rate as charged on delinquent taxes. Interest is payable from the due date of the return or from the date of the overpayment, whichever date is later, to the date the department approves refunding or crediting of the overpayment. With respect to tax paid by withholding or by estimate, the date of overpayment is the date on which the return for the taxable year was due. Interest does not accrue on an overpayment if the taxpayer elects to have it applied to the taxpayer's estimated tax for the succeeding taxable year. Interest does not accrue during any period the processing of a claim for refund is delayed more than 30 days by reason of failure of the taxpayer to furnish information requested by the department for the purpose of verifying the amount of the overpayment. Interest is not allowed if:
     (a) the overpayment is refunded within 45 days from the date the return is due or the date the return is filed, whichever date is later;
     (b) the overpayment results from the carryback of a net operating loss; or
     (c) the amount of interest is less than $1.
     (5) An overpayment not made incident to a bona fide and orderly discharge of an actual income tax liability or one reasonably assumed to be imposed by this law is not considered an overpayment with respect to which interest is allowable.

     History: En. Sec. 1, Ch. 138, L. 1957; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 199, L. 1963; amd. Sec. 192, Ch. 516, L. 1973; R.C.M. 1947, 84-4956; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 113, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 589, L. 1981; amd. Sec. 9, Ch. 811, L. 1991; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 520, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 8, Ch. 572, L. 1995.

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