- Payout depends on whether you filed a 2013 return
- Cash could go to as many as 1 million taxpayers
- You must file the old return by April 18
Already filed your 2016 return? Good. But you might not be square with Uncle Sam just yet.
The IRS said earlier this spring that it is holding more than $1 billion in unclaimed tax refunds for an estimated 1 million taxpayers who did not file a 2013 federal income tax return. If you're among them, or suspect you might be, you'll have to file that return by April 18 or forfeit that money to the U.S. Treasury.
The median anticipated refund varies by state (see chart below), with estimates ranging from $619 (Idaho) to $917 (Alaska). Not as big as the average $2,878 refund for the current tax season, but enough to help you make headway on your financial goals.
"Students and many others may not realize they're
IRS regulations don't require a federal tax return for people whose income is less than a set level, depending on filing status, age and the type of income received. But those taxpayers may still benefit from filing, to get back any federal income tax withheld from a paycheck or claim any refundable tax credits.
(Filing isn't necessarily an easy feat if those
It really is free money: There are
However, the IRS did caution taxpayers that the 2013 refund could be held if the taxpayer hasn't filed returns for 2014 and 2015, either. And if you owe any other tax bills to the IRS or the state, or are behind on child support or federal student loans, the refund could be siphoned to offset those debts.