IRS to Give 1.3 Million People More Refunds — How to Check Your Eligibility

You could be owed hundreds of dollars but you only have a few days to claim it.

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The IRS is usually known for taking your money but in a wonderful reversal of roles, this past year has been very different. Not only are they delayed in giving out many of their tax returns due to the fact that they want to make sure they’re giving people the full amount of money they are owed, but they’ve also been tasked with tons of other goals.

For example, they are still working on sending out the $1,400 stimulus checks mandated by President Biden in the American Rescue Package — here’s how to know where yours is — and also establishing a portal for parents to receive their monthly child allowances by July.

But that’s not all: the IRS is trying to give away even more money to those who made tax mistakes in 2017.

The IRS is currently trying to give away over $1.3 billion worth of unclaimed tax refunds available. Indeed, you could be one of the 1.3 million taxpayers who are eligible to get a refund and not even know it. But you gotta act fast, as the window to claim the refund is quickly closing. Here is what you need to know.

What is the refund for?

Last month, the IRS announced that taxpayers who didn’t fill out file their 2017 tax return could still claim their tax refund. According to IRS estimates, more than half of the refunds are for more than $865.

How do I know if I’m eligible?

Check to see if you filed your tax return in 2017. If you did not, and believe you might be due a return, you could be among the 1.3 million eligible. But the only way to know for sure is by filing your tax return for 2017, as the IRS estimates the dollar amount of unreported tax returns but can only determine if an individual taxpayer is due a refund if they file their return.

How do I claim my refund?

To claim a refund for 2017, you need to submit your 2017 tax form, which you can do online or through the mail. You can find the 2017 tax forms 1040, 1040-A, and 1040-EZ on the IRS website under the “Forms and Publications” page.

If you are missing a W-2, 1098, 1099, or 5498 tax form from the year 2017, your best bet is requesting them through an employer or bank. Otherwise, you can order a free wage and income transcript through the IRS website.

How much time do I have?

According to IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig, you only have a three-year window and that window shuts forever on Tax Day for this year, which is May 17. So if you are one of the people eligible, you are legally required to properly address and mail the tax return, postmarked by the deadline. Otherwise, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury.

“We want to help people get these refunds, but they will need to quickly file a 2017 tax return,” Rettig said in a statement.

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