Do you know anyone who would turn down $1.5 billion, or at least part of it?
The IRS does. Specifically, the IRS knows that approximately 1.5 million taxpayers owe unclaimed tax refunds totaling nearly $1.5 billion. But they haven’t received the money because they haven’t filed a 2018 tax return – and the time to do so is running out. You have until April 18, 2022 to file your return for the 2018 tax year and claim your 2018 refund.
The clock is turning
According to IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig, “By law, there is only a three-year window to claim [2018 tax year] refunds, which end with the April tax deadline of this year. The deadline for filing income tax returns for the 2021 tax year is April 18, 2022 (or April 19, 2022, if you live in Maine or Massachusetts).
If you haven’t filed your 2018 tax return, this is when you lose your right to claim the refund.
What happens to the money if you don’t produce? Your refund “becomes the property of the US Treasury,” according to the IRS.
Reimbursement Report State by State
The IRS released statistics for each state relating to 2018 tax returns, covering the estimated number of people likely to receive a refund, as well as the total potential refunds. According to the IRS, the estimated “median” refund for the 2018 tax year is $813, which means half of the refunds are over $813 and half are under.
Topping the list for the estimated number of people due for reimbursement is California, with nearly 149,000, followed closely by Texas with more than 145,000. The Lone Star State, in turn, holds the lead in the total potential refunds with $147 million, while California is second with nearly $140 million.
Where to Find a Form 1040 for 2018
You can find the applicable forms for the 2018 tax year at IRS.gov. You can also call 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676). One catch: Forms for 2018 cannot be submitted online. Instead, they must be filed with the IRS center which is listed on the last page of current instructions for IRS Form 1040.
Tax refunds for the 2021 tax year
On e-filing and refunds, the IRS recently detailed why some of those who filed their 2021 tax returns electronically did not receive their refunds within weeks. following the deposit (normally you can expect your refund in less than 21 days).
According to the IRS, if a the tax return contains errors, is affected by identity theft or fraud, or is incomplete, it may be subject to manual examination, which may delay its processing. More information about identity theft can be found at IRS.gov’s Identity Theft Central.
Other areas that can cause a longer processing time for a return, according to the IRS, include:
- The return requires a correction of the amount of child tax credit or recapture rebate credit.
- It includes a claim for Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit.
- It includes Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allowance. This form can take up to 14 weeks to process.
the “Where is my refund? » tool on IRS.gov is the recommended place to check the status of your tax refund. The IRS notes that information for the latest tax year is generally available within 24 hours of acknowledgment of receipt of the taxpayer’s electronic return. If the taxpayer filed a paper return, they must wait four weeks before checking the status of the refund.
The figures published by the IRS until the week of April 1 revealed that more than 91 million total tax returns had been received, of which nearly 88 million had been filed electronically. The number of refunds was just over 63 million, of which over 60 million were direct deposit refunds. The total amount repaid exceeded $204 billion.
It is now
If you can’t file your 2021 tax return by the deadline, get an extension by April 18, 2022. Regardless of your income, you can use Free file to receive a tax return extension until October 17. Above all, the extension do not give you more time after April 18 to pay your taxes.
If you have to pay taxes, consider using direct paymentthe Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS)or one credit or debit card to make your tax payment by April 18 and extend your tax filing deadline to October 17.
What about these refunds from 2018? There is no extension to file your 2018 return. It’s now. File your 2018 tax return on paper (not electronically) by April 18 (or April 19 if you live in Maine or Massachusetts) to claim this refund.
To follow the topics I cover, be sure to to follow me on forbes.com (and if you want subscribe, check the red box at the top right). Write to me at [email protected]. Include your city and state, and mention that you are a forbes.com reader. While it’s impossible to answer every question, every email is read and reviewed and may lead to discussion in a future article.