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IRS Has $1.3 Billion for People Who Have Not Filed a 2005 Tax Return

IR-2009-16, March 3, 2009

WASHINGTON — Unclaimed refunds totaling approximately $1.3 billion are awaiting over a million people who did not file a federal income tax return for 2005, the Internal Revenue Service announced today. However, to collect the money, a return for 2005 must be filed with the IRS no later than Wednesday, April 15, 2009.

Especially in these tough economic times, people should not lose out on money that is rightfully theirs," said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “People should check their records, especially if they had taxes withheld from their paychecks but were not required to file a tax return.  They may be leaving money on the table, including valuable tax credits that can mean even more money in their pockets."

The IRS estimates that half of those who could claim refunds for tax year 2005 would receive more than $581. Some individuals 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 the refund within three years, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury. For 2005 returns, the window closes on April 15, 2009. The law requires that the return be properly addressed, postmarked and mailed by that date. There is no penalty assessed by the IRS for filing a late return qualifying for a refund.

The IRS reminds taxpayers seeking a 2005 refund that their checks will be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2006 or 2007. In addition, the refund will be applied to any amounts still owed to the IRS and may be used to satisfy unpaid child support or past due federal debts such as student loans.

By failing to file a return, individuals stand to lose more than refunds of taxes withheld or paid during 2005. Many low-income workers may not have claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Generally, unmarried individuals qualified for the EITC if in 2005 they earned less than $35,263 and had more than one qualifying child living with them, earned less than $31,030 with one qualifying child, or earned less than $11,750 and had no qualifying child. Limits are slightly higher for married individuals filing jointly.

Current and prior year tax forms and instructions are available on the Forms and Publications web page of IRS.gov or by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676). Information about the Earned Income Tax Credit and how to claim it is also available on IRS.gov. Taxpayers who need help also can call the toll-free IRS help line at 1-800-829-1040.

Individuals Who Did Not File a 2005 Return with an Estimated Refund

 

 

 

Total

 

 

Median

Estimated

 

 

Estimated

Refunds

 

Individuals

Refund*

($000)*

Alabama

21,400

$585

$18,167

Alaska

6,100

$665

$6,925

Arizona

36,900

$487

$31,234

Arkansas

11,400

$547

$9,756

California

154,500

$537

$144,580

Colorado

23,700

$532

$20,676

Connecticut

16,000

$659

$18,234

Delaware

5,400

$592

$5,117

Dist of

Columbia

5,300

$564

$5,518

Florida

99,300

$609

$108,162

Georgia

44,400

$538

$39,381

Hawaii

9,400

$639

$11,108

Idaho

5,300

$464

$4,113

Illinois

50,400

$640

$53,166

Indiana

26,600

$624

$24,041

Iowa

11,800

$587

$9,367

Kansas

12,900

$555

$10,804

Kentucky

14,600

$588

$12,506

Louisiana

24,900

$594

$24,388

Maine

4,900

$532

$3,928

Maryland

30,600

$584

$29,967

Massachusetts

29,600

$638

$31,942

Michigan

45,100

$609

$42,390

Minnesota

19,700

$531

$17,085

Mississippi

12,200

$533

$10,311

Missouri

26,000

$550

$21,237

Montana

3,700

$509

$3,125

Nebraska

5,900

$548

$5,091

Nevada

18,300

$551

$17,588

New Hampshire

5,500

$667

$5,759

New Jersey

41,100

$646

$43,761

New Mexico

9,400

$532

$7,724

New York

76,800

$639

$82,994

North Carolina

37,300

$515

$29,645

North Dakota

2,000

$553

$1,647

Ohio

44,600

$571

$37,290

Oklahoma

17,000

$546

$14,541

Oregon

21,000

$467

$16,138

Pennsylvania

47,800

$623

$43,958

Rhode Island

4,500

$610

$4,332

South Carolina

16,000

$506

$13,240

South Dakota

2,400

$602

$2,046

Tennessee

21,900

$586

$19,917

Texas

103,000

$624

$105,241

Utah

8,300

$496

$8,334

Vermont

2,300

$550

$1,730

Virginia

40,200

$576

$40,657

Washington

35,600

$624

$39,414

West Virginia

4,900

$627

$4,389

Wisconsin

16,900

$535

$13,825

Wyoming

2,800

$649

$2,785

Armed Forces

5,500

$800

$4,540

US Possessions/Territories

200

$754

$320

Total

1,343,000

$581

$1,284,133

 

*Excluding the Earned Income Credit and other credits.

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 17-Aug-2012