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

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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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