The time is running out to file your late tax return in an effort to claim unclaimed tax refunds. You may find yourself in one of the categories listed below that for some reason or another you have not filed an IRS tax return either for one or multiple years.
If you have not filed a tax return in the past, the IRS allows you to go back 4 years to file a tax return if you think you may be eligible for a tax refund claim. Each year the 4 year deadline is April 15th. One reason to consider filing a late return is to collect on an unclaimed tax refund.
IRS Has Billions In Unclaimed Tax Refunds To Pay Out To Late Filers
Each year, the IRS ends up with an excess amount of money that they have collected in the previous year for income taxes from U.S. taxpayers who for some reason do not file a tax return. The excess money that the IRS has will go to the U.S. Treasury Department if it is not claimed at the end of the 4 year waiting period.
Reasons To Not File A Tax Return
If you find yourself in any of the following categories and you know that you paid income taxes to the IRS for a job you had, you may consider filing a late tax return for the year that you did not file a return.
Thought I Did Not Make Enough Money
Did Not Make Enough Money
Do Not Know How To File A Tax Return
Filing A Tax Return Is Too Complicated
Did Not Want To Be Bothered
Was In College And Did Not Think Mattered
Did Not Trust Anyone To Prepare My Taxes
Did Not Know That I Had To File A Tax Return
Thought I Might Owe Money But Not Sure
Never Got Around To It
Decided It Did Not Matter
If any of these apply, or you have your own version of why you did not file a tax return that is similar to these reasons you make consider to file a late tax return. The reason to file a late return is to get paid an unclaimed tax refund. If you want to file a late tax refund you need to consider the following stipulations about filing and then decide again whether it is worth it or not.
What Do I Need To Know To File A Late Tax Return?
First of all, the biggest thing to know is that if you file a late return you will not have to pay any penalties if you are entitled to an unclaimed tax refund. This is good news for many people. For example, the IRS reports that for 2005, they have as much as $1.3 Billion in unclaimed tax refund money to return to taxpayers who did not file an income tax return for 2005. The IRS reports about that every year they have a large amount of money that they could pay to eligible taxpayers if only those taxpayers would file a return.
In addition to knowing that you will not be penalized by the IRS if you file a late tax return you need to know:
You must manually file your return.
You cannot file this return electronically.
Past tax year tax forms can be gotten at the IRS.gov link found at the bottom of this article.
You must file a separate return for each year that you did not file a return if did not file for multiple years – but you do not have to file all years if you do not want to to be eligible for an unclaimed tax refund.
You can have your past years tax refunds electronically deposited into one or more bank accounts.
You will not have to pay a late filing fee penalty if you are due a refund (Hint, it is best to speak with a tax preparer before you file a past due tax return to ensure that you will not be due to pay additional taxes and be subject to a fine.)
If you are eligible for an unclaimed tax refund you will not be eligible for any additional interest as in the case if the IRS owed you more of a tax refund on one that you already filed in the past.
You can find this year’s tax forms as well as tax forms for past years at IRS.gov in the Forms and Publications section. You can also call the IRS directly at: 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676). Information about the Earned Income Tax Credit and how to claim it is also available on IRS.gov. Taxpayers who need help also can call the toll-free IRS help line at 1-800-829-1040.
The following article was prepared from an interview with Linda Comeau – a licensed tax preparer in Arizona. Linda owns In An Instant Income Tax Service. She can be reached at 602-687-9724 or emailed at linda (at) instandincometax.com.