(NewsReady.com) – Taxes can be stressful to deal with. Especially for people that don’t have the resources to handle the tax filing process properly. In fact, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) estimates that 12 million Americans don’t file a yearly tax return. There are a variety of reasons that people choose not to file, but one of the biggest reasons is because they are not required to. That’s because individuals that make less than the standard deduction are not required to file their taxes. However, without filing for taxes, individuals could be missing out on funds that rightfully belong to them.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that there are nearly $1.5 billion in tax refunds waiting to be claimed from 2018. That means individuals that did not file a tax refund for their 2018 taxes need to file their taxes in order to claim these funds. Sadly, the three year window passed for taxpayers on April 18th (or April 19th for some). However, individuals that had filed an extension have until October 17th to file their taxes! This means for some taxpayers, there is still time. Let’s get a more in-depth look as to what it means to claim your share of nearly $1.5 billion (if you are still able to!).
Where is Nearly $1.5 Billion Coming From?
According to the IRS, roughly 1.5 million taxpayers did not file a tax return for 2018. The IRS provides a three year window for people to get caught up on their taxes. That means that 2021 was the last year that people were able to file their taxes and receive tax refunds that rightfully belonged to them. Tax day for 2021 taxes was on April 18th, 2022. It was April 19th, 2022 for some states like Maine or Massachusetts since they celebrate Patriots’ Day.
However, that timeframe has passed. Luckily, even though the window ended, taxpayers still may be able to claim their share if they had filed for an extension. Taxpayers that filed for an extension have until October 17th, 2022. But once that timeframe passes then it is officially too late to claim your tax refund and the funds will belong to the government.
Who Isn’t Required to File Their Taxes?
We said earlier that individuals that make less than the standard deduction are not required to file their taxes. For 2018, the standard deduction was:
- $12,000 for Single Filers
- $18,000 for Heads of Household
- $24,000 for Married, Joint Filers
However, individuals that made less than that who weren’t required to file taxes could still be due a tax refund!
How Much Will You Get on Your Tax Return?
The exact amount you will get on your 2018 tax return varies. The government would be the entity to determine that amount. However, if you are a part of the people that have unclaimed tax refunds from 2018 then the IRS got together some stats. The median value of the unclaimed tax refunds is $813. That means there is a 50/50 chance that you will either get over $813 or less than $813.
How to Get Your Tax Refund?
If you still have time left because you filed an extension on your 2018 taxes then it is important to act quickly. You will need to file your taxes soon. You can either file your taxes on your own or with the help of a tax professional. The IRS offers free tax return preparation support for qualifying taxpayers. Two opportunities they offer are the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program.
The IRS gave out a notice to individuals in regards to their 2018 taxes. The notice said that individuals who didn’t file could be missing out on their share of nearly $1.5 billion. The deadline to file their taxes to claim their tax refund was on April 18th for most states (except for the states that celebrate Patriots day which means their deadline was on April 19th).
However, individuals that filed an extension on their 2018 taxes have until October 17th. That means the window isn’t closed for all taxpayers just yet! If you are still able to file your taxes for 2018 you will want to do it soon. If you need help filing your taxes then you will want to get in touch with a tax professional. You may also be able to benefit from free tax preparation services that the IRS offers like VITA or TCE.
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