Refunds of $1.4 Billion Unclaimed For Not Filed 2015 Individual Tax Returns

An estimated 1.2 million taxpayers who did not file a 2015 Form 1040 tax return may be entitled to a refund! Total unclaimed income tax refunds for 2015 total almost $1.4 billion according to the Internal Revenue Service.

Refunds of $1.4 Billion Unclaimed For 2015 Individual Tax Returns

Taxpayers have until this year’s tax deadline (Monday April 15, no later!) to collect their money.  Taxpayers in Maine and Massachusetts have until April 17.

“We’re trying to connect over a million people with their share of $1.4 billion in potentially unclaimed refunds for 2015,” said IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig. “Students, part-time workers and many others may have overlooked filing for 2015. And there’s no penalty for filing a late return if you’re due a refund.”

The IRS estimates that half of the refunds are more than $879 and half are less.

If taxpayers do not file their federal income tax return within the three-year window allowed to claim their refund, the money becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury.  Taxpayers must properly address, mail, and ensure their return is postmarked by April 15, 2019 (for most taxpayers) to claim their 2015 refund.

Taxpayers have the option of carrying forward their 2015 refund to 2016 and 2017.  The refund will be applied to any amounts still outstanding with the IRS or state tax agencies.  It may also be used to offset unpaid child support or past due student loans and other federal debts.

Losing Out On The Earned Income Tax Credit

Taxpayers may also be forfeiting the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit by neglecting to file their 2015 tax return.  For 2015, the credit was worth as much as $6,242. The EITC helps individuals and families whose incomes are below certain thresholds. The thresholds for 2015 were:

  • $47,747 ($53,267 if married filing jointly) for those with three or more qualifying children;
  • $44,454 ($49,974 if married filing jointly) for people with two qualifying children;
  • $39,131 ($44,651 if married filing jointly) for those with one qualifying child, and;
  • $14,820 ($20,330 if married filing jointly) for people without qualifying children.

Obtaining Lost Wage and Income Information

Current and prior year tax forms (such as the tax year 2015 Form 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ) and instructions are available on the IRS.gov Forms and Publications page or by calling toll-free 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

If taxpayers are missing 2015 slips (W-2, 1099, etc) they should be requested from their employer, bank, or other payer. Taxpayers may also use the IRS.gov Get Transcript Online tool to get a free copy of their 2015 wage and income transcript.  Form 4506-T can also be used to request a transcript.  Taxpayers can use the information on the transcript to file their tax return.

State-by-state estimates of individuals who may be due 2015 income tax refunds

State or DistrictEstimated Number of IndividualsMedian Potential RefundTotal Potential Refunds
Arizona27,300$780$29,486,000
Arkansas11,200$824$12,000,000
California111,200$832$124,397,000
Colorado23,500$824$26,173,000
Connecticut12,700$952$15,981,000
Delaware4,800$886$5,570,000
District of Columbia3,400$918$4,219,000
Florida84,000$887$95,697,000
Georgia41,100$799$44,754,000
Hawaii7,000$935$8,523,000
Idaho5,200$712$5,209,000
Illinois45,800$924$54,804,000
Indiana26,900$895$30,670,000
Iowa12,300$913$13,737,000
Kansas12,700$874$14,283,000
Kentucky15,700$874$17,246,000
Louisiana22,600$884$26,759,000
Maine4,700$806$4,820,000
Maryland25,700$897$31,274,000
Massachusetts26,100$973$32,579,000
Michigan39,700$873$45,535,000
Minnesota18,000$813$19,222,000
Mississippi11,200$814$12,032,000
Missouri27,000$825$29,008,000
Montana4,100$831$4,521,000
Nebraska6,300$870$6,923,000
Nevada13,700$867$15,728,000
New Hampshire5,500$976$6,859,000
New Jersey33,100$960$41,353,000
New Mexico8,600$860$9,950,000
New York62,500$964$77,662,000
North Carolina37,100$831$39,955,000
North Dakota3,700$980$4,493,000
Ohio43,600$852$47,428,000
Oklahoma19,100$886$22,006,000
Oregon17,900$779$19,118,000
Pennsylvania46,000$934$53,541,000
Rhode Island3,300$949$4,025,000
South Carolina14,600$777$15,701,000
South Dakota3,300$928$3,646,000
Tennessee24,000$853$25,976,000
Texas129,300$929$158,244,000
Utah9,300$791$9,859,000
Vermont2,200$876$2,388,000
Virginia32,900$867$38,441,000
Washington32,400$939$40,142,000
West Virginia5,900$948$6,979,000
Wisconsin16,100$787$16,532,000
Wyoming3,300$958$3,964,000
Totals1,197,600$879$1,379,412,000

Need assistance back filing your returns?  If you are an expat you may be eligible for streamlined filing to mitigate late filing penalties.  Contact us today!

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Any tax advice herein is based on the facts provided to us and on our interpretation of tax legislation as it reads at the time the advice is provided. Tax law is subject to continual change, at times on a retroactive basis and may result in incremental taxes, interest or penalties. We are not responsible for updating our advice for changes in law or interpretation after the date the advice is provided. Every tax situation is different. We are not responsible for the tax implications to any individual or entity that may act on this advice.