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Claim Your Share of $1.5B in Unclaimed IRS Refunds Before Time Runs Out

It’s that time of year again, and while tax season might be dreaded by many, it’s important to remember that the majority of filers are actually owed money. In fact, roughly three out of every four filers receive a refund each year. Despite a lower average refund this year due to the expiration of several pandemic-related benefits and deductions, the IRS has reported over $1.5 billion in unclaimed refund money.

To help taxpayers claim their refunds, the IRS issued a notice on April 13, stating that individuals who did not file a return in 2020 have until July 17, 2023, to claim their refund before it expires. With 1.5 million people who didn’t file a tax return in 2019, the average person could potentially receive an extra $893.

The IRS encourages low- to moderate-income taxpayers, particularly those who don’t usually file tax returns, to consider using the IRS Free File service to prepare their federal tax returns and potentially receive overlooked tax credits or refunds. This guided service is available for those with an adjusted gross income (AGI) below $73,000, while those earning above this threshold can still file online for free, but without the guidance.

Many individuals with an income below $12,950 (or $25,900 for joint filers) are not obligated to file a tax return and may mistakenly assume they’re not entitled to a refund. However, by not filing, they may miss out on deductions like the child tax credit, the child & dependent credit, and the premium tax credit. The IRS emphasizes that “the only way to get a refund is to file a tax return.”

This year’s deadline is set for April 18, with some exceptions for areas affected by natural disasters. For those who need more time to file their 2023 return, an extension can be requested before the deadline. However, the refund deadline for 2019 earnings is set for July 17, as credits from more than four years ago cannot be claimed or altered.

IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel urges taxpayers to claim these refunds, stating, “time is running out.”