About 32,100 Ohioans who did not file a 2009 federal tax return are owed an estimated $26.7 million in refunds, according to the IRS. These taxpayers have until April 15 to file their 2009 returns or else forfeit the money.
Many taxpayers do not file federal income tax returns because their incomes are below the threshold that makes filing a requirement.
But just because taxpayers do not owe the government any money does not mean they should not file a return, because sometimes the government owes them money.
“Even if they are not required to file, it may still benefit them to file a return because it might mean they will get money back,” said Jennifer Jenkins, Ohio spokeswoman for the IRS.
About 984,400 U.S. taxpayers will receive an estimated $917 million in tax refunds if they file their 2009 returns before the April deadline. In Ohio, the median refund amount is $561. The IRS owes some taxpayers refunds because too much was withheld from their wages via payroll taxes.
About half of the potential refunds for 2009 are more than $500.
Under law, most taxpayers have three years to claim a refund, after which time the money becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury, the IRS said. 2009 tax returns must be addressed, mailed and properly postmarked by April 15.
The IRS may not distribute refund checks for 2009 if the taxpayers have not filed returns for 2010 and 2011. Some amount of the refund could be deducted if taxpayers owed the agency any money, or have unpaid child support or federal student loans.