Just a few months back, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) shared some surprising news – they might owe a whopping $1.5 billion in refunds. Now, that’s no chump change. On average, we’re talking about potential payouts close to $900 per person. But there’s a catch. These unclaimed tax refunds need to be claimed this week.
To give you a bit of a backstory, it was in April of this year when the IRS announced this pile of nearly $1.5 billion in unclaimed tax refunds. These are for the fiscal year 2019. So, for those who didn’t file their tax returns for that year, it’s high time to get moving. The deadline to submit it to the IRS is July 17. Danny Werfel, the IRS Commissioner, voiced an urgent message.
Act Quickly to Claim Your Tax Refund Understanding the Earned Income Tax Credit
If you didn’t file your taxes during the pandemic, he strongly urges you to do so swiftly. This could be your last chance to claim a refund – and it could be quite a sizeable one at that! Now, the average refund is estimated to be $893. But guess what? It could be even more if you qualify for different tax credits. Many workers with low to moderate incomes may be in line to receive up to $6,557. That’s if their 2019 income qualifies them for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
Who qualifies for EITC in 2019? Here’s a quick rundown:
- If you’re an individual with no qualifying children, your income needs to be less than $15,570 ($21,370 if you’re married and filing jointly).
- For those with one qualifying child, your income needs to be under $41,094 ($46,884 if married and filing jointly).
- If you have two qualifying children, it should be less than $46,703 ($52,493 if married and filing jointly).
- For those lucky enough to have three or more qualifying children, it should be less than $50,162 ($55,952 if married and filing jointly).
According to the IRS, this unclaimed money is owed to residents across all states. In fact, tens of thousands of taxpayers from states like California, Texas, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, among others, are missing out on these payments.
By law, taxpayers have a typical three-year window to file and claim their tax refunds. After this period, any unclaimed money is transferred to the US Treasury. As the IRS puts it, “make sure your tax return is postmarked before July 17, 2023.”
Now, for the 2019 tax returns, there’s a bit of a silver lining. People have more time than usual to file and claim their refunds. Usually, you’d have to claim old refunds by the regular tax filing deadline, which was April 18 this year. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the three-year window for unfiled 2019 returns has been extended to July 17, 2023. So, there’s still time to claim what’s rightfully yours.