Every year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) holds a considerable quantity of unclaimed tax refunds due to taxpayers not filing their tax returns. For those who did not file their 2019 federal returns, the deadline to claim these unclaimed refunds is fast approaching. Post this deadline, the unclaimed funds will be surrendered to the U.S.
If you are entitled to a refund but did not file your tax returns for the years 2019, 2020, or 2021, there’s still an opportunity to claim it. The IRS provides a grace period of three years for taxpayers to file their returns and retrieve their rightful refunds without incurring late filing penalties. However, to avoid relinquishing the money due to you, you need to act swiftly.
Understanding Deadlines, Rebate Credits, and the Claim Process for Unclaimed Tax Refunds
The last date to claim the refund for the 2019 Tax Return is July 17, 2023. After this date, the unclaimed refunds will be transferred to the U.S. Treasury. For the 2020 Tax Return, although e-filing is no longer an option, you can mail your forms by April 15, 2024, to claim your refund. The Recovery Rebate Credit, alternatively referred to as the Economic Impact Payment, is linked to the government-issued stimulus checks disbursed during specific periods, notably during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For 2020 Returns: The first and second stimulus checks are part of the 2020 Tax Return. If you have yet to file your 2020 return, ensure that you prepare and post it before April 15, 2024, to claim your stimulus payments and any refunds owed to you. To ensure you don’t miss out on your money, it’s crucial to understand the process for claiming tax refunds from preceding years and the nuances of the Recovery Rebate Credit, particularly if you were the recipient of stimulus checks.
For 2021 Returns: The third stimulus payment should be reported correctly on your 2021 Tax Return to prevent any adjustments and subsequent delays in your refund.
There could be various reasons for refunds going unclaimed
If you’ve provided erroneous banking details for direct deposit, it could lead to a failed deposit. In such a case, the IRS would issue a paper check to the recorded address. Refund Offsets: If you have outstanding federal tax, child support, alimony payments, state tax, or other federal debts, the IRS could offset part or all of your tax refund. If you suspect you’re missing a tax refund, consider these steps to address the issue:
- Call 1-800-829-1040 to confirm your mailing address if your refund check was returned to the IRS.
- Update your mailing address with the IRS by using Form 8822.
- Start a trace with the IRS if you’ve misplaced your refund check by calling 800-829-1954 or using Form 3911 if you’re filing under the Married Filing Joint status.
Several factors could result in a reduced tax refund, including income changes, revised tax credits, new tax laws, or reforms. It’s important to adjust your income tax withholding and utilize W-4 tools if your income situation varies during the year.
Every year, the IRS sees unclaimed income tax refunds amounting to billions of dollars. Even if you consider your income as too low to necessitate filing a tax return, you might still be eligible for a tax refund or the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Ensure you don’t lose out on your rightfully earned money – promptly file your past federal and state tax returns to claim any unclaimed refunds.