If you happened to overlook the task of filing your taxes amidst the chaos of the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, worry not, as you still have an opportunity to rectify the situation. It has come to light that nearly 1.5 million taxpayers might still be eligible for a tax refund from the tax year 2019, as revealed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Astonishingly, a staggering amount of approximately $1.5 billion in refunds has remained unclaimed, awaiting their rightful owners.
Typically, taxpayers are granted a generous three-year time frame to file and claim their tax refunds. However, owing to the unprecedented circumstances brought about by the pandemic, the original tax day in 2020 was extended by 90 days. Consequently, the customary three-year window has also been correspondingly extended, providing taxpayers with until July 17 to fulfill their obligations.
Understanding the Implications of Late Tax Filing: Penalties, Refunds, and Key Deadlines
One silver lining in this situation is that if a taxpayer is entitled to a refund, there is no penalty for filing late, as confirmed by the IRS. Thus, individuals who are owed a refund can proceed with their filings without fear of facing any financial repercussions. Nevertheless, it is crucial to bear in mind that if taxpayers fail to file their taxes within the designated time frame, the funds in question will be retained by the Treasury. Therefore, it is of utmost importance for eligible individuals to take the necessary steps to claim what rightfully belongs to them before the deadline lapses.
If you find yourself needing to file your 2019 federal tax return, it’s important to note that the process requires a traditional paper filing instead of electronic submission. To ensure compliance, your return must be postmarked by July 17.
Access the necessary forms for tax year 2019 online through the IRS Forms, Instructions, and Publications page
Alternatively, you can obtain them by reaching out to the IRS at 800-TAX-FORM. It’s crucial to use the correct forms for the designated tax year to accurately report your financial information. One challenge that taxpayers may encounter is the inability to locate their income information from 2019. If this applies to you, don’t worry, there are steps you can take.
Firstly, you may need to contact your employer or bank to request a copy of your 2019 W-2 form, which provides details about your income and taxes withheld. This document is essential for accurately completing your tax return.
Alternatively, the IRS offers another option to obtain your wage and income information through an online tool called Get Transcript Online, available on their official website, IRS.gov. By using this tool, you can request a wage and income transcript for the tax year 2019. This transcript will include various forms of income, such as wages, dividends, and interest, reported to the IRS by employers, financial institutions, and other payers. Having access to this transcript will aid in the accurate completion of your tax return.
Remember, filing your taxes promptly is crucial to avoid potential penalties or the risk of losing any refund you may be entitled to. By following these steps and ensuring you have the necessary forms and information, you can successfully file your 2019 federal tax return within the designated timeframe.
The Significant Sum at Stake: Unclaimed Refunds and Potential Financial Gain
The potential amount of unclaimed money from tax year 2019 is a significant consideration. According to estimates provided by the IRS, the average unclaimed refund for that tax year is approximately $893.
However, it’s crucial to note that there may be even greater sums at stake for many low- and moderate-income workers who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The agency suggests that these individuals could be eligible for up to $6,557 in refunds. The EITC is a refundable tax credit, meaning that even if someone does not owe any taxes, they can still receive a refund.
Some taxpayers who are eligible for these refunds may have opted not to file their taxes due to their belief that their income in 2019 was not sufficient to meet the filing requirement. However, it’s important to recognize that they may still be owed a refund if they qualify for a refundable tax credit or if excess tax was withheld from their paychecks.
Despite the potential for significant refunds, it’s worth noting that the IRS has the authority to withhold 2019 tax refunds from individuals who have not filed their tax returns for subsequent years, namely 2020 and 2021. Additionally, the refunded amount may be applied to any outstanding tax obligations owed to the IRS or a state tax agency. It can also be used to offset overdue child support payments or federal debts, such as student loans.
It is important to clarify that tax year 2019 did not include any pandemic stimulus payments. These payments, valued at up to $1,400, were disbursed to eligible individuals in 2020 and 2021 as part of the government’s response to the pandemic. Therefore, the unclaimed refunds from tax year 2019 do not encompass these stimulus payments.
Considering the potential unclaimed refunds and the various factors that may affect their availability, it is crucial for eligible taxpayers to promptly file their 2019 tax returns and claim what is rightfully theirs. Doing so can ensure that individuals receive the refunds they are entitled to and avoid any potential offsets or withholding of funds.