April 15th is the deadline to file your federal taxes — but it’s not just a deadline to get all the information in for 2014. IRS spokesman, Bill Brunson, says the clock is also ticking for those who are still owed money from previous years.
Brunson says you have three years from the tax year to file for a refund, so that puts those Iowans who haven’t filed 2011 returns on the clock this year.
“The Internal Revenue Service believes that 11,100 Iowans have more than 10 million on the books,” Brunson says, “ten million dollars that they could collect if they file their 2011 tax return.” He says that can be a good chunk of money that will go away. “The average refund would be approximately $719. And if they don’t file on or before midnight April 15th for the 2011 year, they are going to lose the opportunity to claim that refund,” according to Brunson.
He says some of the refunds could be due to people who are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit not filing to take advantage as they didn’t realize they had to file, or part-time workers who mistakenly thought they didn’t make enough money to get a refund. “They could have been going through a divorce, there could have been a death in the family, they may’ve had other things that caused them to postpone the filing and here it is 2015. Well, if you haven’t filed for 2011, you still have time to do something about it,” Brunson says.
He says you need to file the 2011 forms to claim any refund for that year. “And they can get the information off of irs.gov, that prior year return and the instruction booklet is available online,” Brunson says. “And if you don’t have your W-2’s or 10-99’s from that year, if it has been reported to the Internal Revenue Service by that third party payer, the IRS would then have that information and can provide it to you for free.” There is no penalty for filing a late return that qualifies for a refund.