The IRS could owe you $600 or more
Did you file a federal income tax return in 2008? If not, according to the IRS, you may have some extra cash coming your way. But you’d better claim it soon. Otherwise, Uncle Sam will put it back into his wallet.
$1 billion in refunds left unclaimed
The IRS said Thursday that it has $1 billion in unclaimed tax refunds for 2008. According to the IRS, half of the tax refunds are for more than $600. But the deadline to claim that money is April 17. Normally that date would be April 15, but because cause it falls on a weekend this year, taxpayers get a couple more days of leeway. At that time, any unclaimed amount is channeled back into the U.S. Treasury.
Not an unconditional offer
The offer of late refunds is not being made unconditionally. The IRS says taxpayers who did not file returns for 2009 and 2010 may not be eligible to claim a past refund. Also, taxpayers who have back taxes owed will see their unclaimed refund applied against the tax liability. It also may be used to pay any unpaid child support or students loans.
Many reasons for not filing
There are many reasons people may not have filed in 2008, according to the IRS. Perhaps their income was so low they were not required to file. But if they worked and had payroll taxes taken out, or if they paid quarterly estimated payments, they may still have a refund coming.
May have stimulus rebate coming
Taxpayers who neglected to file may also have been eligible for the 2008 Recovery Rebate Credit, which paid up to $600 for single taxpayers and $1,200 for married couples filing jointly. Without filing a return, the rebate will not be issued. Many who didn’t file for reasons of low-income may also qualify to receive the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Amount differs by state
The amount of refunds to be allocated differs by state. Wyoming has the largest share of unclaimed refunds, with an average of $773 going to each eligible taxpayer. Oregon tipped the scale at the other end with the least amount. The western state had an average of $527 going to each taxpayer.
Taxpayers always have three years to claim any unreceived refund. The IRS will not penalize taxpayers for failing to file if the IRS owes them money. After three years, if the money remains unclaimed, it reverts to the Treasury Department.
Those needing 2008 tax forms can call the IRS toll-free at 800-829-3676.