Public Service Announcement: Only One Month Left to Claim Your 2006 Refund

Earlier this week, the WSJ posted an article reminding readers that refunds on 2006 taxes can only be claimed until April 15, 2010.  Here, we provide more details.

The IRS estimates that as many as 1.37 million people who did not file their 2006 taxes are actually due a refund, with a total value amounting to around $1.3 billion.  California, Florida, and Texas each have over 100 thousand people who might still be due a refund on their 2006 taxes, and Californians alone might be leaving more than $150 million sitting in IRS coffers!  Whatever is not claimed within 3 years of the original filing deadline (i.e., not claimed within a month from this past Monday) is forfeited and becomes IRS money.

Many people likely have not claimed their refund because they expect its value to be worth less than the trouble of filing, but the IRS estimates the median unclaimed refund is around $604 – an amount certainly worth the paperwork.

To get your 2006 refund, you must also file your 2007 and 2008 taxes, though only the 2006 one has to be submitted by this year’s deadline.  Your refund will be withheld until you send in your 2007 and 2008 forms.  And if you no longer have your W-2s and other income forms, you should try getting those from your employer and financial institutions.  If that fails, you can also ask the IRS to send you a transcript of all your year-end documents by calling 1800-829-1040 or submitting Form 4506-T.  For more information, visit the IRS page here.

Admittedly, searching for old documents and recalling 4-year-old expenses may seem daunting.  But you’ve still got a whole month, and isn’t giving the IRS something that’s rightfully yours even more discouraging?  As of now, it looks like the IRS will pocket over $1.3 billion because of people’s laziness, procrastination, or disorganization – make sure your money isn’t part of that pot.

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