If you, a member of your family or a friend has a refund coming from a 2007 return that has yet to be filed, you only have until Monday (April 18) to claim your refund. The IRS reports that it has refunds totaling approximately $1.1 billion for the nearly 1.1 million people who did not file a federal income tax return for 2007.
Some people may not have filed because they had too little income to require filing a tax return even though they had taxes withheld from their wages or made quarterly estimated payments. In cases where a return was not filed, the law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window of opportunity for claiming a refund. If no return is filed to claim a refund within three years, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury.
By failing to file a return, people stand to lose more than a refund of taxes withheld or paid during 2007. In addition, many low- and moderate-income workers may not have claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC helps individuals and families whose incomes are below certain thresholds, which in 2007 were $39,783 for those with two or more children, $35,241 for people with one child, and $14,590 for those with no children.
For 2007 returns, the window closes on April 18, 2011. The law requires that the return be properly addressed, mailed and postmarked by that date. There is no penalty for filing a late return qualifying for a refund.
The IRS reminds taxpayers seeking a 2007 refund that their checks will be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2008 and 2009. 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.