Nearly a Million taxpayers did not file a Federal Income Tax Return last year and the IRS States , it totals nearly One Billion Dollars in Unclaimed Refunds, that's about $1,000 a year for the average taxpayer AND, It can be more if they file using the Earned Income Tax Credit.
The following is a reprint from the IRS -
Does the IRS Have Money Waiting For You?
If you earned income in the last few years but you didn't file a tax return because your wages were below the filing requirement, the Internal Revenue Service may have some money for you. The IRS also has millions of dollars in checks that are returned each year as undeliverable.
Here's what you need to know about these two types of "missing money" and how to claim it:
Some people earn income and may have taxes withheld from their wages but are not required to file a tax return because they have too little income. In this case, you can claim a refund for the tax that was withheld from your pay. Other workers may not have had any tax withheld but would be eligible for the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit, but must file a return to claim it.
Tax Credit (EITC) has been awarded to Low wage earners. If you qualify, the credit could easily outweigh your tax obligation.
To collect this money a return must be filed with the IRS no later than three years from the due date of the return.
If no return is filed to claim the refund within three years, the money becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury.
There is no penalty assessed by the IRS for filing a late return qualifying for a refund.
Current and prior year tax forms and instructions are available on the Forms and
Publications page of www.irs.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
The EITC Tax Credit
The Earned Income Tax Credit, sometimes called EIC is a tax credit to help you keep more of what you earned. It is a refundable federal income tax credit for low to moderate income working individuals and families. Congress originally approved the tax credit legislation in 1975 in part to offset the burden of social security taxes and to provide an incentive to work. When EITC exceeds the amount of taxes owed, it results in a tax refund to those who claim and quality for the credit.
Do You Qualify for EITC?
To qualify EITC you must have earned income from employment, self-employment or another source and meet certain rules. Also, you must either meet the additional rules for workers without a qualifying child or have a child that meets all the qualifying child rules for you.
Filing a complete tax return is the only way to make a valid refund claim. If the refund relates to a tax year when you didn't file a return, you have to file an original tax return within two years of paying the tax. The IRS starts the two-year period on the April 15 that immediately follows the relevant tax year.
How Long Do I have to Claim Refunds on Amended Returns?
The three-year period applies to taxpayers who file the original tax return on time but later discover an error that should have given a lower tax liability for that year. To initiate a refund claim, you need to file an amended tax return. The three-year period begins on April 15 in the year immediately following the close of the relevant tax year, not counting any extension of time to file the IRS grants you.
Every year, the IRS sends out tax refunds by mail to some 30 million Americans. Some of these are sent to old addresses and returned; others are lost in the mail and never cashed. If you filed your taxes manually and have not received your refund, then you should check to ensure your mailing address is current. you might also have a refund without your knowledge.
The IRS is the first to notify you of your indebtedness to them, yet it remains silent when you're running a positive balance.
Refund checks are mailed to your last known address. Checks are returned to the IRS if you move without notifying the IRS or the U.S. Postal Service.
You may be able to update your address with the IRS on the "Where's My Refund?" feature available on IRS.gov. You will prompted to provide an updated address if there is an undeliverable check outstanding within the last 12 months.
You can also ensure the IRS has your correct address by filing Form 8822, Change of Address, which is available on www.irs.gov or can be ordered by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3767).
If you do not have access to the internet and think you may be missing a refund, you should first check your records or contact your tax preparer. if your refund information appears correct, call the IRS toll-free assistance line at 800-829-1040 to check the status of your refund and confirm your address.
Tax Credits directly reduce your tax liability, they reduce the amount of tax you owe. Deductions are different, they reduce the amount of income that is subjected to taxation. Tax credits are usually more beneficial than deductions of similar amounts.
There are two kinds of Tax Credits -
Nonrefundable Tax Credits
Most, but not all, tax credits are referred to as nonrefundable credits. A nonrefundable credit can reduce your tax liability to zero, but not below. You must have tax liability on line 46 of Form 1040, line 18 of Form 1040A, or line 43 of Form 1040NR to claim a nonrefundable tax credit. Nonrefundable tax credits include:
Child and Dependent Care Credit
Education credits (American Opportunity Credit is also partly refundable)
Credit for the Elderly or Disabled
Child Tax Credit
Foreign Income Tax Credit
Residential Energy Credits
Retirement Savings Contribution Credit
Refundable Tax Credits
A refundable tax credit is a tax credit that can reduce your tax liability below zero. It is possible to receive a tax refund from this type of credit, which is referred to as refundable. Refundable tax credits include:
Earned Income Credit
Excess Social Security Credit
Additional Child Tax Credit
Health Coverage Tax Credit
American Opportunity Credit
Transfer to Search
The Unclaimed Money Database is a Fast and Easy Way to See if you have Missing Money that is being held by the Government. You'll instantly search the National Unclaimed Property database. You can also be connected to every State's Unclaimed Property Agency so you can contact them by email or telephone to receive personal service in retrieving your money.
Remember the service is Free and there is a 30% chance that you'll find some Missing Money.