In Georgia, more than $30 million in unclaimed refunds awaits nearly 36,000 individuals. However, to collect the money, a return for 2008 must be filed with the IRS no later than Tuesday, April 17.
The IRS estimates that the median unclaimed refund for tax year 2008 in Georgia is $581.
“Time is running out if you want to get your refund,” said IRS spokesman Mark Green. “Taxpayers should review their 2008 statements for refundable credits and withholdings. We want all taxpayers to get the refund they’re due.”
Some people may not have filed because they had too little income to require filing a tax return, even though they had taxes withheld from their wages or made quarterly estimated payments.
“In cases where a return was not filed, the law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window of opportunity for claiming a refund,” Green said. “If no return is filed to claim the refund within three years, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury.”
For 2008 returns, the window closes on April 17, 2012. The law requires that the return be properly addressed, mailed and postmarked by that date. There is no penalty for filing a late return qualifying for a refund. Though back-year tax returns cannot be filed electronically, taxpayers can still speed up their refunds by choosing to have them deposited directly into a checking or savings account.
The IRS reminds taxpayers seeking a 2008 refund that their checks will be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2009 or 2010. In addition, the refund will be applied to any amounts still owed to the IRS and may be used to satisfy unpaid child support or past due federal debts such as student loans.
By failing to file a return, people stand to lose more than refunds of taxes withheld or paid during 2008. Some people, especially those who did not receive an economic stimulus payment in 2008, may qualify for the Recovery Rebate Credit. In addition, many low- and moderate-income workers may not have claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC helps individuals and families whose incomes are below certain thresholds. The thresholds for 2008 were:
· $38,646 ($41,646 if married filing jointly) for those with two or more qualifying children,
· $33,995 ($36,995 if married filing jointly) for people with one qualifying child, and
· $12,880 ($15,880 if married filing jointly) for those with no qualifying children.
For more information, visit the EITC Home Page on IRS.gov.
Current and prior year tax forms and instructions are available on the Forms and Publications page of IRS.gov or by calling toll-free 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676). Taxpayers who are missing Forms W-2, 1098, 1099 or 5498 for 2008, 2009 or 2010 should request copies from their employer, bank or other payer. If these efforts are unsuccessful, taxpayers can get a free transcript showing information from these year-end documents by ordering it on IRS.gov, filing Form 4506-T or by calling 800-908-9946.