Q: In your article on amended returns, you said I have three years to file an amended return. (5/2/05 issue) But can't I technically go back even further? C.L., Holyoke, Mass.
A: Yes. You only have three years to amend your return to produce a tax refund. But if it makes sense, you might amend an older return. Let's say you neglected to claim a $10,000 net capital loss on your 2001 return filed over three years ago. By amending your 2001 return, you're entitled to carry forward $7,000 of the loss (the excess above $3,000) to offset income on your tax returns for the past three years. Tip: A capital loss carried over must be used in the first available tax year.