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Form 1045: Application for Tentative Refund

File Photo: Form 1045 Application for Tentative Refund
File Photo: Form 1045 Application for Tentative Refund File Photo: Form 1045 Application for Tentative Refund

What is Form 1045: Tentative Refund Application?

Individuals, estates, and trusts can request a quick tax refund using IRS Form 1045.

Application for Tentative Refund Form 1045 guidelines require a refund request to be based on one of four reasons:

  • Carryback of net operating loss (NOL)
  • The carryback of unused general business credit
  • Net section 1256 contract loss carryback
  • An overpayment of tax from a proper adjustment claim under Section 1341(b)(1)

The Form 1045 instructions define loss.

Form 1045: Tentative Refund Application—Who Can File?

Individuals, estates, and trusts can use Form 1045: Application for Tentative Refund instead of Form 1040-X or Form 1041.

Form 1045 is utilized for fast tax refunds, whereas Forms 1040X and 1041 take longer. After the NOL, the IRS must complete Form 1045 within 90 days, and the taxpayer or tax-paying organization must file it within a year. You can file Form 1040X for individuals and Form 1041 for estates and trusts up to three years after the NOL occurs. The IRS might take up to six months to complete Form 1040X or Form 1041 returns.

Form 1045 is a tentative refund since the IRS or taxpaying entity can contest it after processing. All parties accept Forms 1040X and 1041 facts and claims as accurate and final. A party that wants a speedy refund but doesn’t care about corrections files Form 1045, whereas a party that wants accuracy and can wait files Form 1040X (individuals) or Form 1041 (estate or trust).

The IRS website has Form 1045.

Note: Form 1045: Application for Tentative Refund is submitted or sent separately from an income tax return.

Fill Out Form 1045: Tentative Refund Request

You must file Form 1045 within one year of the triggering occurrence (e.g., NOL, unused credit, net section 1256 contract loss, or proper adjustment) occurring.

First, disclose the filer’s name, address, and Social Security number. Questions concerning carrybacks follow. The filer must calculate the tax drop from the carryback for each year preceding the NOL or unused credit. The taxpayer and any tax preparer will sign and date the bottom of the form.

Other Relevant Forms

Form 1045, filed separately from the primary tax return, should include the first two pages of Form 1040, any Form 4952, and any Schedules K-1.


  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) limits most taxpayers to carrying net operating losses (NOLs) from tax years after 2017.
  • The IRS limits single taxpayers to carrying back net operating losses (NOL) of $250,000, while couples filing jointly are determined to carry back NOLs of $500,000.
  • Carrying over net operating losses (NOLs) from a previous tax year may trigger an AMT liability.



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