Regarding the IRS Refund Statute of Limitations, we have good news and bad news. The bad news is, if you have not yet filed your 2011 federal tax return time has run out, meaning the refund you expected is not going to happen! Now that does not mean you do not have to file you 2011 federal return, because you do. However, there is good news about the refund statute of limitations. You have until April 15, 2016 to file your 2012 tax return.
IRS Projections – Refund Statute
The IRS estimates that there are more than 1.1 million taxpayers who have not filed their 2012 tax returns. There is approximately $1.1 billion dollars of unclaimed refunds available for those taxpayers. If you fall in this category, you need to act within the year because the return must be filed by April 15, 2016. Otherwise, the money becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury.
What if I failed to file a return?
By failing to file a return, people stand to lose more than a refund of taxes withheld or paid during 2012. Many low and moderate income workers may not have claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC helps individuals and families with incomes below certain thresholds. For unmarried individuals in 2011 that was $40,964 for those with two or more children. For people with one child it was $36,052. For those with no children it was $13,660. Each amount is $5,080 more for married joint filers. In addition, parents eligible to claim the refundable portion of the child tax credit will forfeit that benefit if they do not file a return.
When filing a 2012 return, the law requires that the return be properly addressed, mailed and postmarked by the April 15, 2016. And here is more good news, there is no penalty for filing a late return qualifying for a refund.
As a reminder, taxpayers seeking a 2012 refund should know that their checks will be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2010 and 2011. In addition, the refund will be applied to any amounts still owed to the IRS, and may be used to offset unpaid child support or past-due federal debts such as student loans.
Do you have questions about the Refund Statute?
WorthTax can help you to bring your tax filings up-to-date. If you are not being with your tax filing obligations, please call Alex at 781-849-7200 and make an appointment today at one of our locations.