According to the IRS on March 14, 2013, the IRS has $917 million for people who have not filed a 2009 income tax return. There are an estimated 984,400 taxpayers who did not file a federal tax return for 2009. The IRS also estimated that half the potential refunds for 2009 are more than $500. To collect the money, taxpayers must file a return for 2009 no later than Monday, April 15, 2013. These people may not have filed their taxes 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. The law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window of opportunity for claiming a refund. If a return is not filed, the money becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury. People who did not file a return stand to lose more than the refund of taxes withheld or paid during 2009. In California, 100,700 individuals with a potential refund did not file their 2009 tax return. The total potential refunds for the state of California are about $92,590. People who fail to file their tax returns stand to lose potential refunds. During fiscal year 2012, more than 120 million individual filers received a tax refund. These refunds totaled almost $322.7 billion. The average individual income tax refund was $2,879.
Also, 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 individual and families whose incomes are below certain thresholds. Some people fail to file their tax returns because they had too little income to require filing. However, that is not always the case. These individuals have a chance to benefit from refundable credits, but they cannot claim these benefits unless they file.
If you have a 2009 refund due to you, the check may be held if you also failed to file returns for 2010 and 2011. The refund may also be applied to any amounts you still owe the IRS. The refund could also be used to pay off child support or other past due federal debts such as student loans.
Current and prior year tax forms and instructions are available on the Forms and Publications page of IRS.gov.