Tax refund money could be yours

More than 1 million people have unclaimed tax refunds because they did not file a federal income tax return for 2012, the IRS announced this week. To collect the money, taxpayers must file a 2012 tax return no later than this April’s tax deadline.

The unclaimed refunds total $950 million. That’s a lot of money that taxpayers are leaving on the table! The money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury if no return is filed to claim a refund within three years.

The IRS said a “surprising number” of individuals overlook claiming tax refunds each year.

“We especially encourage students and others who didn’t earn much money to look into this situation because they may still be entitled to a refund,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Don’t forget, there’s no penalty for filing a late return if you’re due a refund.”

Those entitled to the refunds have until April 18 to file their 2012 return. Refund checks could be held, however, if a taxpayer has not filed returns for 2013 and 2014. Additionally, the refund will be applied to any amounts owed to the IRS or state tax agencies and may be used to offset unpaid child support or past due federal debts such as student loans.

Some individuals are also missing out on the Earned Income Tax Credit by not filing a return. Low- and moderate-income workers may have been eligible for the credit worth up to $5,891 in 2012.

Do you need to file a 2012 tax return? You may need to take these steps:

  • Get prior year tax forms here or call (800) 829-3676.
  • Request copies of missing Forms W-2, 1098, 1099 or 5498 from your employer, bank or other payer
  • If you are unable to get missing forms from your employer or other payer, order a paper transcript from the IRS here.

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