DALLAS - Refunds totaling over $86 million may be waiting for an estimated 86,000 Texas taxpayers who did not file a federal income tax return for 2009, according to the Internal Revenue Service. However, to collect the money, a 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 earn income and may have taxes withheld from their wages but are not required to file a tax return because they have too little income,” said Clay Sanford, an IRS spokesman in Dallas. “An example might be a college student with a summer job.”
Other workers may not have had any tax withheld but would be eligible for the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit, though they must file a return to claim it. In cases where a return was not filed, the law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window of opportunity for claiming a refund.
For 2009, the Earned Income Tax Credit is worth as much as $5,657. The EITC helps individuals and families whose incomes are below certain thresholds.
The thresholds for 2009 were:
$43,279 ($48,279 if married filing jointly) for those with three or more qualifying children,
$40,295 ($45,295 if married filing jointly) for people with two qualifying children,
$35,463 ($40,463 if married filing jointly) for those with one qualifying child, and
$13,440 ($18,440 if married filing jointly) for people without qualifying children.
For more information, visit the EITC Home Page.
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.
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.
Current and prior year tax forms and instructions are available on the Forms and Publications page of IRS.gov or by calling toll-free 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676). Taxpayers who are missing Forms W-2, 1098, 1099 or 5498 for 2009, 2010 or 2011 should request copies from their employer, bank or other payer.
If these efforts are unsuccessful, taxpayers can get a free transcript showing information from these year-end documents by filing
Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, with the IRS or by calling 800-829-1040.