Filing Late Tax Refunds - April 2010

Filing Your Late Tax Refund

April 2010

April 15 th is getting closer, therefore it's time to get ready to file your tax return for 2009. However, April 15 th is also important for those of you who did not file tax returns in 2006, if you want to get back some of your money from the IRS.

Question: Everyone knows that the filing deadline for taxes from the past year is April 15 th. Why is April 15 th important for 2006 taxes?

Answer: The IRS has announced that there are over $1.3 billion dollars of unclaimed refunds awaiting nearly 1.4 million people who did not file a Federal Income Tax Return for 2006. The average refund is $604.00. The reason April 15 th is important, is that you have three (3) years from when your 2006 return should have been filed to claim your refund. Your 2006 return should have been filed in April 15, 2007, so the three (3) years expires on April 15, 2010.

Question: Why would someone who did not file a tax return be owed a refund?

Answer: Some people do not need to file a tax return because they made too little income to have to file a return. However, these people may be entitled to a refund for several of the following reasons:

  • They worked and earned some W-2 income, along with having Federal Income Tax taken out of their paycheck. Their taxes have been paid to the IRS. If they do not file a return, the IRS will not return the refund.
  • Many low and moderate-income workers may qualify for a Refundable Earned Income Tax Credit. However, they will only get this refund if they file their return. For example, in 2006, if you have two (2) or more children and your income was below $38,348.00, you would be entitled to a refund.
  • Many telephone customers and most cell phone users qualify for a one-time Telephone Excise Tax Refund for the 2006 return. This one time payment applied to long distance service billed in 2003 through 2006. The government gives at least a standard refund of up to $60.00 dollars or more if you show that you overpaid this Telephone Excise Tax.

Question: Isn't it risky to file a tax return three (3) years late?

Answer: Not in this situation. Remember, the people we are talking about did not have to file returns. There is no penalty for filing a late return that qualifies for a refund. However, to qualify for a refund for the 2006 tax year, you must have the return properly addressed, signed and postmarked no later than April 15, 2010. Once you finish filing for 2006, do not forget about possible refunds for the 2007 and 2008 tax years. Also remember that you could be entitled to State or City Income Tax Refunds as well. If you need IRS forms, go to the Forms and Publications page of http://www.irs.gov/.