1.5 Million Americans Are Owed $1.5 Billion by the IRS — Here’s How To Claim Your Money

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Time is running out for 1.5 million Americans to claim $1.5 billion in unclaimed tax refunds. The IRS says taxpayers have until July 17 to claim their refunds from the 2019 tax year.

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.

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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:

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