Time is running out: Taxpayers missing $1.5 billion in refunds for … – IRS

An official website of the United States Government
IR-2023-112, June 8, 2023
WASHINGTON ― The Internal Revenue Service today encouraged nearly 1.5 million people across the nation to submit a tax return to claim their refunds for tax year 2019 by the July 17, 2023, deadline.
The IRS estimates almost $1.5 billion in refunds remain unclaimed because people haven’t filed their 2019 tax returns yet. Available data includes a special state-by-state estimate of how many people are potentially eligible for these refunds in each state and each state’s median potential refund. The average median refund for tax year 2019 was $893.
“Time is running out for more than a million people to get their tax refunds for 2019,” said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. “Many people may have overlooked filing a 2019 tax return due to the pandemic. We don’t want people to miss their window to receive their refund. We encourage people to check their records and act quickly before the deadline. The IRS has several important ways that people can get help.”
Under the law, taxpayers usually have three years to file and claim their tax refunds. If they don’t file within three years, the money becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury.
For 2019 tax returns, however, people have more time than usual to file to claim their refunds. Usually, the normal filing deadline to claim old refunds falls around the April tax deadline, which was April 18 this year for 2022 tax returns. But the three-year window for 2019 unfiled returns was postponed to July 17, 2023, due to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency. IRS Notice 2023-21, issued on Feb. 27, 2023, provided legal guidance on claims made by the postponed deadline. The law requires taxpayers to properly address, mail and ensure the tax return is postmarked by July 17, 2023.
Taxpayers could lose more than just their refund of taxes withheld or paid during 2019. Many low- and moderate-income workers may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). For 2019, the credit was worth as much as $6,557. The EITC helps individuals and families whose incomes were below certain thresholds in 2019. Those who are potentially eligible for EITC in 2019 had incomes below:
The IRS reminds taxpayers seeking a 2019 tax refund that their checks may be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2020 and 2021. In addition, the refund will be applied to any amounts still owed to the IRS or a state tax agency and may be used to offset unpaid child support or past due federal debts, such as student loans.
Current and prior-year tax forms (such as the tax year 2019 Forms 1040 and 1040-SR) and instructions are available online on the IRS Forms, Instructions and Publications page or by calling toll-free 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
Although it’s been several years since 2019, the IRS reminds taxpayers there are ways they can still gather the information they need to file this tax return. People should begin now to make sure they have enough time to file before the July deadline for 2019 refunds. Here are some options:
Based on tax information currently available, the IRS estimated how many people in each state may be entitled to a tax refund. The actual refund amount will vary based on a household’s tax situation.
Number of 
Individuals
Potential
Refund
Potential
Refunds*
* Excluding credits.

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