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IRS Has Over $1 Billion in Refunds for People Who Have Not Filed 2008 Tax Return

On February 23, 2012, the IRS, in IR-2012-26, announced that it has $1,009,905,000 in potential refunds for individuals who did not file a tax return for the 2008 tax year.  In order to receive the refund, a 2008 tax return must be filed no later than Tuesday, April 17, 2012.

The IRS estimates that half of these refunds are $637 or more and that 1,089,000 individuals did not file a return with a potential refund.  The IRS says that for Florida, it has $66,974,000 in total potential refunds, the median potential refund is $650, and, 70,400 individuals did not file a return with a potential refund.

The IRS also noted that some individuals may have not filed a 2008 tax return because they did not have enough income to be required to file a tax return. Nevertheless, some of those individuals had taxes withheld from their wages or made quarterly payments, and thus may be eligible for a refund.

Most taxpayers who did not originally file a return for a tax year may claim a refund by filing a return for that tax year within three years of the filing deadline for that year.  Thus, in the case of 2008, the filing deadline was April 15, 2009.  The taxpayer has three years from that point to file the return.  Because April 15, 2012 (three years from April 15, 2009), falls on a Sunday and Monday, April 16, 2012, is Emancipation Day, a holiday observed in Washington, D.C., the filing deadline is Tuesday, April 17, 2012.

I’d also point on that some individuals may have filed returns and be entitled to refunds due to possible overstatement of their income, or not claiming deductions or credits to which they are legally entitled.  In addition, those individuals who did not fie a tax return in 2009 or 2010, or were not considering filing a 2011 tax return, may want to inquire as to whether filing the tax return would provide them a refund.

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