Source: The Motley Fool.
The IRS has $760 million that it would love to dish out to
taxpayers. This $760 million fund owes to an estimated 918,600
citizens who did not file
federal tax returns
federal tax returns for the 2010 tax year. It sounds a little
crazy, but there are actually some people who are not legally
required to file a tax return each year. These people had incomes
below a certain threshold and may have been students or part-time
employees who did not realize they could still receive a refund
if they filed their tax returns.
The law specifies a three-year statute of limitations for
claiming tax refunds. This means that the deadline for submitting
a tax return for the 2010 tax year is April 15, 2014. What
happens to funds that go unclaimed? After the three-year window
passes, all unclaimed tax refunds are considered the property of
the U.S. Treasury. Not claiming your refund is a lot like paying
real money for an imaginary tax.
"The window is quickly closing for people who are owed refunds
from 2010 who haven't filed a tax return," said IRS Commissioner
John Koskinen in a statement. "We encourage students, part-time
workers, and others who haven't filed for 2010 to look into this
before time runs out on April 15."
For those who qualify for a refund, more than half will
receive disbursements of over $571. If you did not file a tax
return for 2010 because you had too little income, then hop to it
before time runs out! Remember that even if you did not earn
enough money to file, you likely still had wages withheld from
employers or could qualify for other tax credits.
One of the most commonly missed tax credits for those who did
not file a return is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This
credit supports low- and moderate-income workers and provides a
refund of up to $5,666. The 2010 income thresholds for the EITC
- $43,322 for taxpayers with three or more qualifying
- $48,362 for married joint filers with three or more
- $40,363 for taxpayers with two qualifying children.
- $45,373 for married joint filers with two qualifying
- $35,535 for taxpayers with one qualifying child.
- $40,545 for married joint filers with one qualifying
- $13,460 for individuals without children.
- $18,470 for married joint filers without children.
The good news is that there is no penalty for filing a late
return for a qualifying refund. However, the IRS can withhold
refund checks under certain conditions. If you did not file
returns for 2011 or 2012 (and were obligated to do so), the IRS
may not disburse your refund. Additionally, the refund amount
gets applied to any taxes you may owe and can be spent toward
unpaid child support before it gets to the taxpayer.
If you did not file a 2010 tax return, don't wait! It is easy
to file a 2010 tax return. Taxpayers can access the appropriate
forms on the IRS website or call 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676). If
you are missing your 2010 W-2 form(s), you can request them from
your employer and read this
Fool.com article about obtaining W-2s. If your previous employer
is supremely uncooperative, you can request a free transcript
from the IRS online or file Form 4506-T.
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