The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may owe you some money. Failure to file an income tax return for the relevant year could mean losing out on your refund.
In the U.S., most citizens and permanent residents are required to file an income tax return if their income exceeds a threshold amount each year. That threshold amount can change. There are many circumstances that require filing a return, and still others where filing a tax return is not legally required but could result in a refund.
Taxpayers who do not owe additional tax may forego filing an annual return. Some of these non-filers are likely owed a refund on the taxes they do pay. When these taxpayers do not file a return, the IRS offers a three-year window in which to claim the refund. The deadline for those who did not claim a refund in 2018 is fast approaching. For most of the U.S., the deadline to file for a 2018 return is April 18, 2022 (in Maine and Massachusetts, the deadline is April 19, 2022).
IRS Commission Chuck Rettig notes, "The IRS wants to help people who are due refunds but haven't filed their 2018 tax returns yet. But people need to act quickly. By law, there's only a three-year window to claim these refunds, which closes with this year's April tax deadline. We want to help people get these refunds, but they need to file a 2018 tax return before this critical deadline."
For 2018, the IRS currently estimates there is $1.5 billion that is owed to approximately $1.5 million taxpayers who did not file returns for 2018. In addition, some of these same taxpayers could be eligible for an Earned Income Tax Credit. The same deadline applies for 2018 refunds and the tax credit.
The IRS points out that about half of the refunds available will likely fall above $813, and half would fall below that midpoint.
After the deadline, unclaimed refund money becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury. Taxpayers who did not submit a tax return for 2019 and 2020 could find their 2018 refund checks held or applied to any other tax or federal debt. This would include unpaid child support or payments due on student loans.
This is a last chance if you might be owed a tax refund for 2018 but have not yet filed. When you have questions about your returns, an IRS tax audit or other tax controversy, speak with an experienced tax attorney in your area.
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