Could you lose your money by April 17, 2018?
About 1 million taxpayers are eligible for about $1.1 billion in unclaimed federal income tax refunds for their 2014 federal income tax returns. The problem? The refund cash has gone unclaimed because the taxpayers did not yet file a tax return for 2014.
In Michigan, about 34,100 individuals may be due $36.5 million in unclaimed 2014 federal income tax refunds. Other states: In New York, about 53,600 taxpayers are owed $60.1 million in unclaimed 2014 federal refunds. In Texas, about 108,100 taxpayers are owed nearly $122 million.
“This is money that you may be owed but never filed a return to claim,” said Luis D. Garcia, a spokesman for the IRS in Detroit. The Internal Revenue Service figures are an estimate and reflect W-2 withholding information. The IRS estimates that about half the refunds nationwide could be worth more than $847. About half the refunds due in Michigan would be worth more than $845.
Even more money could be on the line for many low-income and moderate-income workers, who could be eligible for generous tax credits, including the Earned Income Tax Credit. For 2014, the Earned Income Tax Credit was worth as much as $6,143. How much money a family receives for the credit depends on their income and size of the family.
The thresholds for 2014 for the credit were:
- For those with three or more qualifying children, the income cutoff for the Earned Income Tax Credit was $46,997 for singles and $52,427 if married filing jointly.
- For people with two qualifying children, the income cutoff for the credit is $43,756 for singles or $49,186 if married filing jointly.
- For people with one child, the cutoff is $38,511 for singles or $43,941 if married filing jointly.
- For working people without children, the income cutoff for the credit is $14,590 for singles or $20,020 if married filing jointly.
To get the refund money, taxpayers must file a 2014 federal income tax return by this year’s tax deadline, April 17. There is no other way to find out if you are owed any part of the $1.1 billion. “Maybe you thought you didn’t have enough income to have to file – or maybe your personal situation changed, and you were unsure if you could claim a child for the EITC that year,” Garcia said. “Whatever the reason, remember that you’ve got to file a return if you want get the money.”
“Some of the unclaimed refund money could belong to students, part-time workers and others who may have overlooked filing a return,” acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter said in a statement. Most taxpayers have a three-year window for filing a return to claim a refund. After the three years, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury.
REMINDER: Taxpayers do not face a penalty for filing a late return — if they’re owed a refund. But not everyone who files for 2014 will see cash in hand. Taxpayers seeking a 2014 tax refund check may see those checks held back if they did not file tax returns for 2015 and 2016.
In addition, the 2014 refund would be applied to any amounts still owed to the IRS, or state tax agency, to offset unpaid child support or past-due federal debts, such as student loans.
To be sure, you’d face penalties for filing late and paying late if you owed taxes, and didn’t file a return on time or seek an extension.
Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press Personal Finance Columnist
Published 11:24 a.m. ET – March 8, 2018
Contact Susan Tompor: email@example.com
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Accu-Tax Services reminds everyone that, in the case of refunds taken by the IRS and used to pay off federal debts, you or your spouse may fall under the “Injured Spouse” law – and could qualify for receiving all [or a portion] of the 2014 refund due (depending on which spouse worked for the refund, and which spouse owed the debt.
WARNING! The deadline draws near….. If you believe this 2014 refund situation fits you, it would be to your benefit to check it out!