Taxpayers who have yet to file their taxes for 2019 should act quickly. The IRS estimates that there are nearly $1.5 billion in unclaimed refunds still pending for that year, and the window for claiming these is rapidly closing.
“The IRS estimates that there’s about 1.5 million taxpayers who did not file a tax return in 2019. So basically, the law gives you three years from that date to file your taxes and get a refund,” said Alejandra Castro, a spokesperson for the IRS.
The standard three-year period was extended to July 17th of this year, providing taxpayers an additional chance to secure their refunds.
However, with the deadline approaching, it’s essential to act swiftly.
The IRS requires that a registered tax expert file your 2019 tax forms. You cannot use the free file option, and the IRS will not allow you to file online through tax preparation websites.
As Castro explains, “They can try to get a transcript online where they can get all the information of what they earned. When you work, that employer that you worked for also files a form with the IRS, and the IRS has that on record.”
Florida ranks third in the nation for unclaimed tax refunds from 2019. The IRS estimates 89,300 Floridians have yet to claim their refunds, totaling nearly $90 million. The average median refund is pegged at $893.
In addition to the unclaimed refunds, eligible taxpayers may also qualify for the earned income tax credit. “It is for taxpayers who don’t make a lot of money. And the more kids you have, the higher the credit. But you need to find a reputable tax preparer to make sure that you qualify for it,” added Castro.
If you owe taxes from 2019, any refund you might receive will be used to offset that debt. Furthermore, if you haven’t filed your taxes for 2021 and 2022, the IRS may hold any refund you might be due.