Taxpayers must file their 2009 Tax Returns by April 15, 2013 to claim their 2009 tax refund, or else they lose it!
Per the IRS, there are "refunds totaling just over $917 million that may be waiting for an estimated 984,400 taxpayers who did not file a federal income tax return for 2009. However, to collect the money, a tax return for 2009 must be filed with the IRS no later than Monday, April 15, 2013."
The IRS estimates that half the potential refunds for 2009 are more than $500. Some people may not have filed because they had too little income to require filing a tax return even though they had taxes withheld from their wages or made quarterly estimated payments.
In cases where a tax return was not filed, the IRS tax code "allows taxpayers with a three-year window of opportunity for claiming a refund. If no return is filed to claim a refund within three years, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury."
For 2009 returns, the window closes on April 15, 2013. The law requires that the return be properly addressed, mailed and postmarked by that date. There is no penalty for filing a late return qualifying for a refund.
But, "the IRS reminds taxpayers seeking a 2009 refund that their checks may be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2010 and 2011. In addition, the refund will be applied to any amounts still owed to the IRS or their state tax agency, and may be used to offset unpaid child support or past due federal debts such as student loans."
If taxpayers do not file their tax return, they stand to lose more than refund of taxes withheld or paid during 2009. In addition, many low-and-moderate income workers may not have claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). For 2009, the credit is worth as much as $5,657. Thus, these delinquent filers could potentially lose this valuable EITC in addition to their federal income tax refund.