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The IRS Apparently Owes $1 Billion In Unclaimed Refunds, Some Could Be Yours

It’s that time of year again, the time in which you do your taxes and hope that a nice refund will follow, but what if the IRS owed you more money than you thought? That is basically that the “beloved” Internal Revenue Service happens to be saying lately. While Americans are now filing their taxes for the 2016 year, it might be good to try paying for 2013 too.

Why, you may ask? The IRS came out this past week to tell Americans that they actually owe them over a billion dollars in unclaimed refunds from the year of 2013. Of course, if you filed in 2013 then this sadly does not concern you as you are not eligible to get a little bit of cash from this. However, others may benefit greatly from it. The IRS claimed that taxpayers must file no later than this year’s tax deadline, Tuesday, April 18.

The IRS Commissioner John Koskinen claimed the following.

“We’re trying to connect a million people with their share of 1 billion dollars in unclaimed refunds for the 2013 tax year. People across the nation haven’t filed tax returns to claim these refunds, and their window of opportunity is closing soon. Students and many others may not realize they’re due a tax refund. Remember, there’s no penalty for filing a late return if you’re due a refund.”

Some assumed when this got out that people were just putting out a clickbait article that would hopefully get some hits and tell you absolutely nothing about this refund. However, when the IRS themselves come out to let people know about money they owe, that tells you that there is something worth going after at the end of the day.

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The IRS claimed that they estimate the midpoint for potential refunds from the year of 2013 would be about $763. They went on to say that half the refunds were more than that and half were less. It all depends on how much you made that year and, of course, how much you paid into taxes that year where refunds were needed.

The IRS said that the law behind the income tax filing allows a taxpayer to file within three years to get a refund. If they do not file by then, any money not claimed would end up becoming the property of the United States Treasury. As long as one files by April 18, 2017, they will have a shot to hopefully make a little money. This is almost unheard of really, that the IRS would be holding so much money and have to come out and tell Americans to get their money. They usually take it.

This was a big year to file according to the IRS, as people actually stand to lose a lot of money if they do not file due to EITCs. An “Earned Income Tax Credit” can be applied for people with low and moderate income, for those eligible of course. The credit can be as much as $6.044. The EITC helps individuals and families whose incomes are below certain points. According to the IRS, the thresholds for 2013 were as follows.

Tax Forms
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  • $46,227 ($51,567 if married filing jointly) for those with three or more qualifying children;
  • $43,038 ($48,378 if married filing jointly) for people with two qualifying children;
  • $37,870 ($43,210 if married filing jointly) for those with one qualifying child, and;
  • $14,340 ($19,680 if married filing jointly) for people without qualifying children.

California, Texas, and New York are the states with the most people who did not file who could do so for the year of 2013. Every state has thousands of people who are eligible, such as Alabama which sits at over 18,000 people who could get a refund with $17 million set aside for this state alone. Of course, many wonder how all of this is even possible.

The way it happens is due to people not filing, which is pretty simple. Some people don’t have to, or do not think to do so. Most who don’t feel they’re okay because they don’t owe anything, so they don’t worry about going back to file. Meanwhile, if they did so they could have seen a nice return for themselves from 2013. The IRS is willing to give people money that they owe them, so it might very well be a good idea to check into it if you did not file that year.

[Featured Image by Susan Walsh/AP Images]