Here’s an unexpected twist: The IRS might owe you money, and they’re pulling out all the stops to let you know about it. If you’re eligible, you could pocket $900 or more, but you only have a limited time to claim your cash. The deadline for submitting unfiled returns for 2019 has been pushed to July 17, 2023. This extension was officially recognized in IRS Notice 2023-21, issued on February 27, 2023.
Recently, the IRS announced that nearly 1.5 million people haven’t claimed their refunds for the 2019 tax year, with the total amounting to a whopping $1.5 billion. The median refund sits at $893. If you want to get your hands on this refund, you must submit your 2019 tax return by July 17, 2023. Let’s find out more, as we may be entitled to this check and lose it if we are not vigilant.
IRS Taxpayer Refunds
Normally, taxpayers get three years to file and claim their tax refunds. If they don’t submit within this period, the unclaimed money goes straight to the U.S. Treasury. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic that caused a shakeup during the 2020 tax season, taxpayers have been granted an extended period to file their 2019 taxes and claim refunds.
During a recent news release, IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel highlighted that many people may have missed these refunds due to the disruption caused by the pandemic. He urged taxpayers to claim these refunds before the July 17 deadline.
In an effort to spread the word, the IRS even took to Twitter, reminding taxpayers about the extended deadline for filing 2019 tax returns. They also shared a fun cat meme to highlight the $1.5 billion in unclaimed tax refunds from 2019.
The IRS also pointed out that not filing a 2019 tax return might have consequences beyond just missing out on a refund. For instance, low- and moderate-income taxpayers might also be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), worth up to $6,557 for 2019. This provides financial relief for Americans who fell below certain income thresholds in 2019.
However, remember that your 2019 tax refund may be held if you haven’t filed tax returns for 2020 and 2021. Plus, any outstanding debts you owe to the IRS, a state tax agency, unpaid child support, or federal debts like student loans could be offset by your refund.
To get started, you can find current and previous year tax forms (like the 2019 Forms 1040 and 1040-SR) on the IRS’s Forms, Instructions & Publications page or by calling 800-829-3676 toll-free.