Illinoisans rejoice! The Internal Revenue Service has approximately four-million dollars available for the lucky 3,600 taxpayers residing in Illinois that may have been eligible for a tax refund, but never actually received it.
On a national level, back in March of 2009, the IRS website reported that approximately 1.3 Billion dollars in unclaimed refunds awaited over a million people who did not file federal income taxes for 2005.
Specifically, Illinois IRS spokesperson Susan Hales reported that the number of people owed refunds is about the same this year as in years past.
“We do have this list every year,” Hales said. “And, for the past few years, it has been right around 3,500 tax payers on that list.
IRS Commissioner Dough Shulman released a statement to the American people regarding this issue during these hard economic times. “People should check their records, especially if they had taxes withheld from their paychecks but were not required to file a tax return. They may be leaving money on the table, including valuable tax credits that can mean even more money in their pockets.”
The primary reason why the refunds remain unclaimed by their rightful recipients is because many of these taxpayers have changed their address or changed their filing status since filing their 2009 tax returns.
Susan Hales says, “All we find in many cases, is that once people file the next year’s tax return, we’ll get an updated address, and we can send the check out to them, once we get that new address. But, we’re trying to get that money out as quickly as possible. The holidays are coming up.”
Another explanation behind the unclaimed refunds is a common mistake that many individuals make by not filing because their income was so low that they were not required to file a tax return despite the fact that they had taxes withheld from their wages or made quarterly estimated payments.
In the case that a return was not filed, the law grants a three-year window to claim a refund. After these three years have passed, the money is now U.S. Treasury property.
In order to claim a refund, please visit www.irs.gov and click on the “Where’s my Refund” link.
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