TDP-43 is a critical RNA-binding factor associated with pre-mRNA splicing in mammals. Its expression is tightly autoregulated, with loss of this regulation implicated in human neuropathology. We demonstrate that TDP-43 overexpression in humans and mice activates a 3' untranslated region (UTR) intron, resulting in excision of the proximal polyA site (PAS) pA(1). This activates a cryptic PAS that prevents TDP-43 expression through a nuclear retention mechanism. Superimposed on this process, overexpression of TDP-43 blocks recognition of pA(1) by competing with CstF-64 for PAS binding. Overall, we uncover complex interplay between transcription, splicing, and 3' end processing to effect autoregulation of TDP-43.