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A Million Americans Are About to Lose an Average of $718 Each. Don't Be One of Them

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Deadline approaching

The April 18 deadline is for those who did not file a 2012 tax return. If you didn't file one for 2013 or 2014, you have more time to do so -- and doing so can be worthwhile, as you may have refunds due you for those years, too. But let's focus on 2012, because you need to hurry. If you miss the deadline, Uncle Sam will keep what had been rightfully yours.

The IRS has released information on how much is due to Americans. About a million taxpayers fall into this group of non-filers due a refund, with the unclaimed refunds totaling about $950 million. The median refund owed to non-filers is $718, meaning that plenty of folks are due much more than that (and others due less).

Want more incentive to file that late return? Well, if you earned little income in 2012, you may be eligible to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for that year -- and in 2012, the EITC was worth up to $5,891 .

Here's a last bit of good news: There's no IRS penalty for filing a tax return late if you didn't owe any taxes. If you're simply due a refund, you can file a late return without any punishment. (Note: If you owe back taxes, or are in arrears with regard to child support or federal student loans, your refund will likely be withheld.)

A last detail to know is that if you are going to file for your 2012 refund, the IRS expects you to have filed returns for 2013 and 2014, as well. Fail to do so and your refund check may be held.

Any sum near $718 is significant for most of us. It might represent several months' worth of food costs or half a month of rent. Don't leave it on the table for Uncle Sam to pocket.

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The article A Million Americans Are About to Lose an Average of $718 Each. Don't Be One of Them originally appeared on Fool.com.

Longtime Fool specialistSelena Maranjian,whom you canfollow on Twitter , owns no shares of any company mentioned in this article.Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days . We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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