Filing A Late Tax Return With A Refund Due?

If you have not filed your tax return, and you are entitled to a refund, did you know that the deadline for you to claim the refund is 3 years from its due date (including extensions)?  For example, if you were due a refund on your 2013 Income Tax Return (which was due April 15th 2014), you have until April 15th 2017 to claim it.  If you don’t file a claim for a refund within three years, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury.

Note, there are no interest and penalties for failing to file a return in which a refund was owed.  However, if you have a balance due, those items can be pretty stiff as outlined in this post.

Here are some of the facts you need to know about filing a late tax return in which there is an unclaimed refund:

  • Some people, such as students, part-time workers or seasonal employees may not have filed because they thought they had too little income to require filing a tax return. However, if you did not have a filing requirement, you may still have a refund waiting if you had taxes withheld from your wages.  A refund could also apply if a taxpayer qualified for certain tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit.
  • The law requires that you properly address, mail and postmark your tax return within 3 years of the due date  to claim your refund.
  • The IRS may hold your refund if you have not filed tax returns that were due at a later date.
  • The U.S. Treasury will apply the refund to any federal or state tax you owe. It also may use your refund to offset unpaid child