IRS Holding $1.3 Billion in Unclaimed Refunds

Saturday, March 06, 2010

More than one million taxpayers did not file returns with the IRS in 2006, leaving the government sitting on more than $1.3 billion worth of possible refunds. Americans who did not file four years ago can still send in their returns, but they must do so by April 15. After that date, the U.S. Treasury gets to keep the money. The IRS estimates that the median unclaimed refund for 2006 is $604.

Filing a return will not guarantee a check from the IRS, which will hold onto funds if the taxpayer also has not filed returns for 2007 or 2008, or the individual has not paid other taxes, owes child support or is behind on their student loans.
The IRS also wants taxpayers to know about two ways to lower their taxes when filing for 2006. Many Americans did not take advantage of the one-time telephone excise tax refund available to all phone users, including those with cell phones. In addition, many poor and middle class workers did not claim the Earned Income Tax Credit available to them.
-Noel Brinkerhoff


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