The deadline for claiming refunds from 2019 is fast approaching

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According to the IRS, if you haven’t filed your taxes in recent years, the window for claiming old refunds is closing.

There are nearly 1.5 million people who didn’t claim nearly $1.5 billion in refunds from the 2019 tax year, with the average payment being $893, according to the agency said Wednesday. The last opportunity to file and collect refunds for 2019 is July 17th.

There is usually a three-year grace period to request refunds for unfiled refunds before the money becomes the property of the US Treasury Department. In most years, this deadline coincides with the federal tax return deadline. But there is extra time for 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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“2019 tax returns came due during the pandemic, and many people may have overlooked or forgotten about these refunds,” said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel in an opinion. “We want the taxpayer to claim those refunds, but time is of the essence.”

With the 2019 tax deadline extended to July, Werfel said many Americans, especially low-income earners like students and part-time workers, may have inadvertently skipped their taxes.

“People are scared and thinking it’s going to be harder than it really is,” said certified financial planner John Chichester Jr., founder and CEO of Phoenix-based Chichester Financial Group. “And they don’t realize they’re leaving money on the table.”

People are scared and think it’s going to be harder than it actually is and they don’t realize they’re leaving money on the table.

John Chichester Jr

Founder and CEO of Chichester Financial Group

For example, low- to middle-income workers may be eligible for something called Social Security Earned Income Tax Creditwhich allows for tax relief even without a balance due.

But for workers with a relatively simple tax situation, such as a W-2 income and no business, “it’s pretty easy to file their taxes,” said Chichester, who is also a chartered accountant.

Where to start with unfiled 2019 tax returns?

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You can sign up to download IRS Transcripts e.g. B. the wages and income transcript containing W-2 and 1099 transcripts. You can access IRS transcripts for the current season and three years earlier. “For many taxpayers, this is by far the quickest and easiest option,” the IRS said.

And if you have unfiled tax returns for several years, Chichester recommends simply starting with 2019. “Sometimes it can be daunting when you have multiple years,” he said. The deadline for claiming refunds from 2019 is fast approaching

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