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Time’s Running Out to Claim Refunds for 2017 Tax Returns

Time’s Running Out to Claim Refunds for 2017 Tax Returns

Unclaimed income tax refunds worth more than $1.3 billion await an estimated 1.3 million taxpayers who did not file a 2017 Form 1040 federal income tax return. If your client did not file a 2017 federal income tax return, alert them that they have until May 17, 2021, to file and claim their refund.

 "The IRS wants to help taxpayers who are due refunds but haven't filed their 2017 tax returns yet," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "Time is quickly running out for these taxpayers. There's only a three-year window to claim these refunds, and the window closes on May 17. We want to help people get these refunds, but they will need to quickly file a 2017 tax return."

In cases where a federal income tax return was not filed, the law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window of opportunity to claim a tax refund. If they do not file a tax return within three years, the money becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury. For 2017 tax returns, the window closes May 17, 2021, for most taxpayers. The law requires taxpayers to properly address, mail and ensure the tax return is postmarked by that date.

The IRS reminds taxpayers seeking a 2017 tax refund that their checks may be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2018 and 2019. In addition, the refund will be applied to any amounts still owed to the IRS or a state tax agency and may be used to offset unpaid child support or past due federal debts, such as student loans.