Nearly 63 million New York taxpayers have given even more of their money to the federal government by not collecting refunds totaling $65 million, according to the IRS. The problem is that those taxpayers didn’t file a federal income-tax return for 2009. To get the refunds — half of which are more than $620 — they must file no later than April 15.
The reason some people may not have filed is because they didn’t earn enough to require filing a return, even though they had taxes withheld from their pay or made quarterly estimated payments. There is no penalty for taxpayers who file a late return that qualifies for a refund.
“In cases where a return was not filed, the law provides most 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,” Dianne Besunder, an IRS spokeswoman, said in a statement.
However, their chaecks may be held if they have not filed returns for 2010 and 2011. The refund will be applied to any amount still owed to the IRS or New York Department of Taxation and Finance. It could also 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 IRS website or by calling 800-829-3676.
Taxpayers who are missing forms W-2, 1098, 1099 or 5498 for 2009, 2010 or 2011 should ask for copies from their employer, bank or other payer. If they are unable to do this, they can get a free transcript showing information from the year-end documents by filing Form 4506-T, a Request for Transcript of Tax Return, with the IRS or by calling 800-829-1040.