IRS may owe you $932 but deadline to claim your money is this week

By Leada Gore

This Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019 file photo shows part of a 1040 federal tax form printed from the Internal Revenue Service website.AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File

The Internal Revenue Service owes more than $1 billion in unclaimed refunds to people who didn’t file taxes in 2020. If that’s you, you need to move quickly – the deadline to file a return and claim your money is this week.

Some 940,000 people in the U.S., including 15,200 in Alabama, have unclaimed refunds from tax year 2020. The average median refund is $932; in Alabama, the average median refund owed is $926. Filers may also be eligible for other credits, including the Earned Income Tax Credit worth up to $6,600.

The deadline to claim a refund is May 17 and there’s no penalty for failure to file if a refund is due.

Under federal law, taxpayers have three years to file and claim their refunds before the money becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury. That typically puts the deadline around tax time but, due to the COVID pandemic, the three-year window for unfiled returns for 2020 was pushed into mid-May.

There are some things non-filers need to keep in mind, however. Any 2020 tax refund may be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2021 or 2022. Also, any refund amount for 2020 will be used to help pay amounts owed to the IRS or state tax agency or to offset unpaid child support or past-due federal debt, such as student loans.

Need help with filing documents? You can find more here.