IRS spokesman Christopher Miller says there are all sorts of reasons why people may not have filed a return that year.
“In some cases, people don’t file a tax return because they didn’t make enough money that year to require them to file,” Miller says. “They may not realize, however, there was probably taxes withheld from their paychecks and they can usually get that money back in the form of a refund.”
The agency estimates there are nearly 11,000 taxpayers in Iowa who could be leaving nearly ten-million dollars in refund money on the table. They’re due back an average of $764, but for some, it could be much more. “We really want to encourage especially students and others who didn’t earn much money to look into this situation because they may still be entitled to a tax refund,” Miller says. “Remember, there’s no penalty for filing a late return if you are due a tax refund.”
In cases where a tax return was not filed, the law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window to claim a refund. If no return is filed to claim a refund within three years, the money becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury. “Not only are many people due a refund on taxes withheld for 2012 but they may also be eligible for other tax credits, like the Earned Income Tax Credit,” Miller says. “That can mean an even-bigger refund.”
The Earned Income Tax Credit for 2012 could have been worth as much as $5,600 for a family with 3 or 4 children. The deadline to file tax returns for the latest tax year and for 2012 is April 18th. Current and prior year tax forms and instructions are available at www.IRS.gov on the Forms and Publications page or by calling 800-TAX-FORM.