The Internal Revenue Service is disclosing the contents of its “lost and found,” and don’t be surprised if some of those items have your name written all over them.
According to a statement released Thursday by the IRS, tax refunds totaling slightly more than $917 million has been unclaimed by an estimated 984,400 taxpayers who did not file a federal income tax return for 2009.
While taxpayers may be a bit skeptical as to whether they are entitled to some of the unclaimed cash, they will have to get a move on and find out because to collect the money, a return for 2009 must be filed with the IRS no later than Monday, April 15.
The IRS estimates that half the potential refunds for 2009 are more than $500, according to the statement.
The federal service, which operates as a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, said that 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," the IRS said. "If no return is filed to claim a refund within three years, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury.”
The previous law is enforcing a strict window that closes on April 15, by which time taxpayers should have properly addressed, mailed and postmarked the return.
In addition, don’t forget to read the fine print -- the refund can and 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.
There is no penalty for filing a late return qualifying for a refund.