On March 10, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") announced that it has $950 million unpaid tax refunds due to an estimated one million tax payers who did not file their federal income tax return for 2012. The IRS estimates the midpoint value of a potential refund is $718---half of the refunds will be less and half will be more.
The law gives most tax payers three years in which to claim a refund and if no return is filed within those three years, then the refund becomes the property of the US Treasury.
In order to receive the refund, taxpayers must file a 2012 federal return no later than Monday, April 18, 2016. There is no late filing penalty if the taxpayer is due a refund. Taxpayers should be aware that the 2012 refund may be held if 2013 and/or 2014 returns have not been filed. Additionally, any 2012 refund will be applied to any amounts owing to the IRS or a state tax agency, as well as for unpaid child support or past due federal debts, such as student loans.
Current and prior year tax forms and instructions can be found at the IRS website's Forms and Publications page or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676). Taxpayers will need to obtain past Form W-2, 1098, 1099, and other income reporting forms from their employer, bank, or other payer.
For more information on the unpaid 2012 refunds, including a state-by-state breakdown of number of taxpayers due refunds, please click IRS Refunds.