Thousands of people across the U.S. are entitled to a piece of about $1.3 billion in tax refunds from 2005, but since those taxpayers have yet to file their taxes from that year, the windfalls remain uncollected, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced this week. And anyone entitled to a refund had better act fast, because 2005 returns must be filed (and refunds claimed) by this year's April 15 filing deadline, or the money will be lost.
In a Press Release issued Tuesday, IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman declared: "Especially in these tough economic times, people should not lose out on money that is rightfully theirs . . . People should check their records. They may be leaving money on the table, including valuable tax credits that can mean even more money in their pockets."
Some people may not have filed a return in 2005 because their income level didn't require them to file, even though taxes were withheld by their employers, so a refund may be waiting for them. In any case, the IRS reminds taxpayers that there is no penalty for filing a late return that qualifies for a refund, but 2005 returns must be filed by April 15 in order for taxpayers to collect their part of the $1.3 billion in unclaimed refunds from 2005.