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While your working on your taxes over the next few months, it may be a good idea to check and be sure that you filed your 2008 tax return.
The Internal Revenue Service announced on Thursday that it has over one billion dollars in unclaimed tax refunds for the tax year 2008, and says the deadline for claiming these forgotten funds is April 17, 2012. (This yearís tax deadline is two days later than usual because the 15th falls on a Sunday and the 16th is a holiday observed in Washington.)
For the approximately one million people who didnít get a refund because they did not file their 2008 taxes, the IRS estimates that half of these potential refunds are $637 or more. Many of these people may not have filed a return because they had too little income to be required to file, but are due a refund because they had taxes taken out of their paychecks or they overpaid through their quarterly estimated tax payments. These estimates do not include additional money that citizens may qualify for through the Earned Income Credit and other credits.
The law provides most taxpayers with a three year window to claim refunds for previous tax years, after which the window closes and the funds become property of the U.S. Treasury. The tax return must be properly addressed, mailed, and postmarked by the tax deadline. The IRS also reminds taxpayers that there is no penalty for filing a late tax return if the return qualifies for a refund.
The IRS noted that they may hold the checks of taxpayers seeking their 2008 refunds if the taxpayer has not filed their returns for 2009 and 2010. They also note that the refund can be held and applied to amounts still owed to the IRS for taxes, or for unpaid child support or past due federal debts such as student loans.
Of all the states the most money is owed to residents of California - a total of $112,201 to 122,500 people. Texas comes in at a close second with over $97,000 owed to approximately 96,000 people. Vermont, North Dakota, and South Dakota each had the fewest who were due an unclaimed tax return, with around $2,000 owed to approximately 2,000 people per state.
Internal Revenue Service