ATLANTA — Unclaimed refunds totaling just over $917 million may be waiting for an estimated 984,400 taxpayers who did not file a federal income tax return for 2009. In Georgia, about $27 million in unclaimed refunds awaits just over 31,000 individuals. However, to collect the money, a return for 2009 must be filed with the IRS no later than Monday, April 15, 2013.
The IRS estimates that the median unclaimed refund for tax-year 2009 in Georgia is $538.
“Time is running out if you want to get your refund,” said IRS Spokesman Mark Green. “Taxpayers should review their 2009 statements for refundable credits and withholdings. We want all taxpayers to get the refund they’re due.”
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,” said Green. “If no return is filed to claim the refund within three years, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury.”
For 2009 returns, the window closes on April 15, 2013. The law requires that the return be properly addressed, mailed and postmarked by that date. There is no penalty for filing a late return qualifying for a refund.
The IRS reminds taxpayers seeking a 2009 refund that their checks may be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2010 and 2011. 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 return, people stand to lose more than refund of taxes withheld or paid during 2009. In addition, many low-and-moderate income workers may not have claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). For 2009, the credit is worth as much as $5,657. The EITC helps individuals and families whose incomes are below certain thresholds. The thresholds for 2009 were:
· $43,279 ($48,279 if married filing jointly) for those with three or more qualifying children,
· $40,295 ($45,295 if married filing jointly) for people with two qualifying children,
· $35,463 ($40,463 if married filing jointly) for those with one qualifying child, and
· $13,440 ($18,440 if married filing jointly) for people without qualifying children
For more information, visit the EITC Home Page on IRS.gov.
Current and prior year tax forms and instructions are available on the Forms and Publications page of IRS.gov or by calling toll-free 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676). Taxpayers who are missing Forms W-2, 1098, 1099 or 5498 for 2009, 2010 or 2011 should request copies from their employer, bank or other payer.
If these efforts are unsuccessful, taxpayers can get a free transcript showing information from these year-end documents by filing Form Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, with the IRS or by calling 800-829-1040.