WASHINGTON — An estimated 1.5 million U.S. taxpayers who did not file a 2018 federal income tax return could be leaving a combined $1.5 billion on the table in unclaimed refunds, but time is running out to stake a claim, the IRS has confirmed.
IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig urged delinquent filers to rectify the oversight before the April filing deadline or risk forfeiting what they’re owed.
“By law, there’s only a three-year window to claim these refunds, which closes with this year’s April tax deadline. We want to help people get these refunds, but they need to file a 2018 tax return before this critical deadline,” Rettig said. said in a prepared statement.
The deadline to get those delinquent 1040s to the IRS for most taxpayers is April 18, although late filers in Maine and Massachusetts have until April 19, WTIC reported.
According to an IRS estimate, the median amount owed to taxpayers who have not yet filed their 2018 returns is $813, meaning half will receive more and half will receive less, the TV station reported.
Meanwhile, Alaska filers stand to collect the largest potential 2018 refunds with a $969 median, while delinquent Idaho filers will be eligible for a median refund of $686, the agency stated.
Most notably, some late 2018 filers could be eligible to receive the Earned Income Tax Credit, which was worth up to $6,431 for that tax year, WTIC reported, noting that the EITC income thresholds for 2018 were as follows:
• $49,194 ($54,884 if married filing jointly) for those with three or more qualifying children.
• $45,802 ($51,492 if married filing jointly) for people with two qualifying children.
• $40,320 ($46,010 if married filing jointly) for those with one qualifying child.
• $15,270 ($20,950 if married filing jointly) for people without qualifying children.
According to the IRS, the outstanding 2018 refunds are not entirely without caveats. For instance, a filer’s 2018 refund may be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2019 and 2020. Moreover, any 2018 refund will first be applied to any amounts still owed to the IRS or a state tax agency, and it may be used to offset unpaid child support or past due federal debts, such as student loans.
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