IRS May Retain $1 Billion in Taxpayer Refunds File now to receive your refund
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IRS May Retain $1 Billion in Taxpayer Refunds File now to receive your refund

IRS May Retain $1 Billion in Taxpayer Refunds File now to receive your refund

The IRS estimates that one million taxpayers may lose close to $1 billion in refunds if they do not file their 2012 tax return before the upcoming April filing deadline.

Don’t let this happen to you or someone you know. Here is what you need to know.

The three-year rule. You have three years to file a tax return and request your refund. If you miss this window, the U.S. Treasury absorbs your funds.

There is no penalty. If you are wary of filing a tax return because you are late, do not worry. The IRS does not penalize you for late filing a tax return where they owe you a refund.

Income too low? Think again. Often taxpayers do not file a tax return because their income is too low to be taxed. This can be a big mistake. There are many provisions in the tax code that allow you to receive a refund even if you paid no tax. Many of these are refundable credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Who should check. So who are all these people owed money? Here are some common taxpayer groups that are owed this nearly billion dollars. If you know of someone in any of these groups, please remind them of this looming filing deadline.

  • Students
  • Senior citizens
  • Low income taxpayers
  • Those with kids
  • Those with other problems (owe child support, non-citizens, multiple-non filing years, and those who owe back-taxes from other tax years)

Need missing information? One of the common reasons given for not filing is missing information. If you have lost the required information to file a tax return please contact your employer and other institutions (banks, Social Security, and customers) to obtain replacement copies. If this is not feasible you can receive a copy of your transcript from the IRS.

To request your information:

  1. Fill out and file Form 4506-T. Here is a link to the form. Form 4506-T: Request for Transcript of Tax Return


  1. Go to and use the “Get a Transcript by Mail” button to order a paper copy of your transcript and have it sent to your address of record. Taxpayers can use the information on the transcript to file their return.

IMPORTANT: If this applies to you or someone you know, ask for your information immediately as time is running out. Your tax return must be filed on or before April 18th, or April 19th for those in Massachusetts and Maine.


There is ethical irony in the way the IRS looks at unclaimed refunds. If you do not file a tax return and the IRS thinks you owe money you will receive a notice with a tax due calculated by the IRS. However, if the IRS believes that they may owe you money and you have not filed a tax return, no notice is given and they keep your refund. Please understand this, review your situation, and file a tax return to get your refund before it is too late.