ATLANTA - Refunds totaling almost $760 million may be waiting for an estimated 918,600 taxpayers - more than 20,000 of them in Georgia - who did not file a federal income tax return for 2010.
In Georgia, over $28 million in unclaimed refunds await nearly 23,000 individuals. However, to collect the money, a return for 2010 must be filed with the IRS no later than Tuesday, April 15, 2014.
The IRS estimates that the median unclaimed refund for tax-year 2010 in Georgia is $539.
"Time is running out if you want to get your refund," said IRS Spokesman Mark Green. "Taxpayers should review their 2010 statements for refundable credits and withholdings. We want all taxpayers to get the refund they're due."
"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."
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. If no return is filed to claim a refund within three years, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury.
For 2010 returns, the window closes on April 15, 2014. 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 2010 refund that their checks may be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2011 and 2012. 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 just their refund of taxes withheld or paid during 2010. In addition, many low-and-moderate income workers may not have claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). For 2010, the credit is worth as much as $5,666. The EITC helps individuals and families whose incomes are below certain thresholds. The thresholds for 2010 were: