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Over 940,000 Americans risk missing out on billions in unclaimed 2020 tax refunds without immediate action, IRS warns


Florida – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that an estimated 940,000 taxpayers in the United States have yet to claim their tax refunds for the 2020 tax year. This oversight has led to more than $1 billion in unclaimed funds. With the deadline for filing 2020 tax returns set for May 17, time is quickly running out for these individuals to claim what is rightfully theirs.

Over 940,000 Americans risk missing out on billions in unclaimed 2020 tax refunds without immediate action, IRS warns

IRS urges to file your 2020 tax returns before deadline

The IRS’s statement on March 25 highlighted this significant issue, urging those who haven’t filed their 2020 tax returns to do so before the looming deadline. A notable detail from the IRS’s announcement is the “midpoint” tax refund amount of $932. This figure suggests that approximately half of the individuals who have not filed are owed more than $932, while the other half are owed less.

The implications of failing to file are substantial. Not only do non-filers risk losing their refunds for 2020, but the IRS also noted that any refunds owed could be withheld if the individuals have also neglected to file returns for 2021 and 2022. Furthermore, any refund from 2020 may be allocated towards existing debts to the IRS, state tax agencies, unpaid child support, or other federal debts such as student loans.

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State-specific data released by the IRS paints a clearer picture of the issue at hand. In California alone, an estimated 88,200 individuals have unclaimed refunds waiting. Similarly, Florida and Texas have significant numbers of non-filers owed money, with 53,200 and 93,400 individuals, respectively.

“There’s money remaining on the table for hundreds of thousands of people who haven’t filed 2020 tax returns,” stated IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. His message is a call to action for those who might be unaware of the refunds due to them, emphasizing the urgency of meeting the May 17 deadline to avoid missing out on these funds.

An important aspect to note is that the estimated unclaimed refunds do not account for the coronavirus pandemic era Recovery Rebate Credit or other credits. For those entitled to the 2020 COVID Recovery Rebate Credit, filing a 2020 return this year is crucial, or they stand to forfeit any potential refunds.

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Commissioner Werfel acknowledged the unique challenges posed by the pandemic, which may have contributed to the oversight by many, including students, part-time workers, and others who might not realize they are due a refund. The IRS encourages these individuals to review their records and begin preparing their documents to ensure they do not miss the critical deadline.

With the clock ticking towards May 17, the IRS’s announcement serves as a crucial reminder for nearly a million Americans to take action. The possibility of claiming a share of over $1 billion in tax refunds should motivate those who have delayed filing their 2020 returns to do so promptly, securing their refunds and potentially aiding their financial situations significantly.

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