Most Americans file annual tax returns, but low-income households that make less than the standard deduction — $12,200 for individuals, $18,350 for heads of household and $24,400 for married couples filing jointly in 2019 — typically don’t have to file a return with the IRS, according to CBS News. IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel said in a June 8 statement that some people may have missed the deadline in 2020 because of the pandemic.
“Time is running out for more than a million people to get their tax refunds for 2019,” said Werfel. “Many people may have overlooked filing a 2019 tax return due to the pandemic. We don’t want people to miss their window to receive their refund. We encourage people to check their records and act quickly before the deadline.”
Under federal law, taxpayers have three years to file and claim tax refunds, the IRS website noted. If they don’t claim refunds within three years, then the money goes to the U.S. Treasury. Due to the pandemic, people have more time to claim their refunds because the window for 2019 unfiled returns was pushed to July 17, 2023.
The average median refund for 2019 was $893, according to the IRS, but taxpayers could also miss out on the Earned Income Tax Credit, which was worth as much as $6,557 in 2019.
The IRS said to check your records and file your 2019 tax return before the July deadline. Your options include:
- Request copies of documents: If you’re missing important forms like a W-2 or 1099 for 2019, 2020 or 2021, you can request copies from your employer, bank or other payers.
- Use Get Transcript Online at IRS.gov: The IRS said this is the quickest and easiest way to get a free wage and income transcript if you’re unable to get missing forms.
- Request a transcript: File Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, with the IRS to request a “wage and income transcript.” You can use information from the transcript to file a tax return.
More From GOBankingRates