Atlanta, GA – Refunds totaling $950 million may be waiting for an estimated one million taxpayers in the nation who did not file a federal income tax return for 2012. In Tennessee, over $17 million in unclaimed refunds awaits 19,700 individuals. However, to collect the money, a return for 2012 must be filed with the IRS no later than Monday, April 18th 2016.
“Time is running out if you want to get your refund,” said IRS Spokesman Mark Green. “Taxpayers should review their 2012 statements for refundable credits and withholdings. We want all taxpayers to get the refund they’re due.”
“In cases where a return was not filed, the law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window of opportunity for claiming a refund,” said Green. “If no return is filed to claim the refund within three years, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury.” There is no penalty for filing a late return qualifying for a refund.
Some people may not have filed because they had too little income to require filing a tax return even though they had taxes withheld from their wages or made quarterly estimated payments. In cases where a return was not filed, the law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window of opportunity for claiming a refund. If no return is filed to claim a refund within three years, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury.
In cases where a tax return was not filed, the law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window of opportunity for claiming a refund. If no return is filed to claim a refund within three years, the money becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury. For 2012 tax returns, the window closes on April 18th, 2016 (or April 19th for taxpayers in Maine and Massachusetts). The law requires the tax return to be properly addressed, mailed and postmarked by that date.
The IRS reminds taxpayers seeking a 2012 refund that their checks may be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2013 and 2014. In addition, the refund will be applied to any amounts still owed to the IRS, or their state tax agency, and may be used to offset unpaid child support or past due federal debts, such as student loans.
By failing to file a tax return, people stand to lose more than just their refund of taxes withheld or paid during 2012. Many low-and-moderate income workers may not have claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). For 2012, the credit is worth as much as $5,891.
The EITC helps individuals and families whose incomes are below certain thresholds.
The thresholds for 2012 were:
- $45,060 ($50,270 if married filing jointly) for those with three or more qualifying children,
- $41,952 ($47,162 if married filing jointly) for people with two qualifying children,
- $36,920 ($42,130 if married filing jointly) for those with one qualifying child, and
- $13,980 ($19,190 if married filing jointly) for people without qualifying children.
Current and prior year tax forms and instructions are available on the IRS.gov Forms and Publications page, or by calling toll-free: 800.TAX.FORM (800.829.3676). Taxpayers who are missing Forms W-2, 1098, 1099 or 5498 for the years 2012, 2013 or 2014 should request copies from their employer, bank or other payer.
Taxpayers who are unable to get missing forms from their employer or other payer should go to www.IRS.gov and use the “Get a Transcript by Mail” button to order a paper copy of their transcript and have it sent to their address of record. Taxpayers can also file Form 4506-T to request a transcript of their tax return. Taxpayers can use the information on the transcript to file their return.