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Refund Statute Expiring: Don’t Miss Out!

Article Highlights:

  • The refund statute expires on May 17, 2021 for unfiled 2017 returns.

  • Unfiled returns will lose out on refundable credits.

  • Refunds may be offset by unpaid child support, past due student loans, and back taxes.

If you have not yet filed your 2017 tax return and have a refund coming, time to claim that refund is running out! The IRS estimates that more than 1.35 million taxpayers have not filed their 2017 tax returns with approximately $1.3 billion of unclaimed refunds available for those taxpayers. If you fall in this category, you need to act quickly because the return must be filed by May 17, 2021 to claim a refund for 2017. Otherwise, the money becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury.


People stand to lose more than a refund of taxes withheld or paid during 2017 by failing to file a return. For example, many low- and moderate-income workers who haven’t filed for 2017 may qualify to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC is a refundable credit that provides financial assistance to individuals and families with incomes below certain thresholds. In addition, taxpayers may also qualify for the refundable child and education credits.


When filing a 2017 return, the law requires that the return be properly addressed, mailed, and postmarked by May 17. There is no penalty for filing a late return that qualifies for a refund.


As a reminder, taxpayers seeking a 2017 refund should know that their checks will be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2018 and 2019. In addition, the refund will be applied to any amounts still owed to the IRS and may be used to offset unpaid child support or past due federal debts, such as student loans.


Please give this office a call as soon as possible if you have not filed your 2017 return. Sufficient time is needed to prepare and print the return and for you to take it to the post office to send with proof of mailing.


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