The Internal Revenue Service IRS has issued a notice stating that taxpayers must act swiftly if they want to secure their tax refunds for the 2019 calendar year. Failing to do so may result in the forfeiture of their rebate, with the U.S. Treasury poised to take control of the unclaimed $1.5 billion in overpaid taxes.According to the IRS’s recent announcement, there is an estimated count of nearly 1.5 million U.S. citizens nationwide who are entitled to refunds but have yet to claim them.
These individuals must submit the required paperwork by July 17, just a week away from today. The deadline for the 2019 tax year was extended due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which marked the last full year before the declaration of a national health emergency. According to the IRS, numerous individuals with low to medium incomes may qualify for rebates of up to $6,557, with an average refund of approximately $893 for those who have yet to claim their refunds.
Urgent Call to Action: File Your 2019 Taxes to Claim Potential Refunds, Warns IRS Commissioner
Danny Werfel, the IRS commissioner, emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating, “Time is running out for individuals owed a tax refund in 2019.” He emphasized, “It is crucial for individuals who may have neglected to file their taxes during the pandemic to take prompt action to avoid forfeiting their final opportunity to receive a potentially significant refund.”
The projected number of claimants by state appears to align proportionately with the total population, with the highest number of individuals in California, totaling 144,700, owed a combined $142 million. Texas follows closely behind, with an estimated 135,300 claimants who are owed the same combined amount of $142 million.
New Hampshire emerged as the state with the highest median potential refund, where 6,900 potential claimants are anticipated to receive an average refund of $974. Massachusetts and West Virginia followed closely, with average refunds of $966 and $959, respectively.
Typically, taxpayers have a three-year window to file and claim tax refunds before those unclaimed funds are transferred to the Treasury. However, the deadline for the 2019 tax year was extended due to the pandemic. On April 10, U.S. President Joe Biden officially declared the end of the COVID-19 emergency, resulting in the resumption of various governmental functions, including student loan repayments.
Essential Steps to Claim Your 2019 Tax Refund: Securing Documents and Navigating Potential Delays
Individuals who have not yet filed a claim for a refund will likely need personal tax documents from 2019 for their filing requirements. Kathy Pickering, chief tax officer for H&R Block, a tax preparation firm based in Kansas City, Missouri, advised taxpayers to request copies of tax documents from employers and other sources, such as loan service providers. She mentioned that some of these documents may have been provided electronically and can still be accessed upon request.
If individuals are unable to obtain the necessary documents from their employers, the IRS provides a free online service for tax transcripts, which it claims is the quickest and easiest option. However, the IRS issued a warning that individuals seeking a refund for their 2019 taxes may face a delay in receiving their refund checks if they have not yet filed for the 2020 and 2021 tax years as well.