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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Dryden

$1.5 Billion in 2018 Tax Refunds About to Become Government Property

Have you filed your 2018 tax return? April 18, 2022 is the deadline to file for your 2018 refund if you haven't.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says there are tax refunds worth a total of almost $1.5 billion waiting to be claimed by about 1.5 million people that haven’t filed their 2018 income tax return.

And you better hurry! The deadline to claim a refund for 2018 is right around the corner. After that, the money becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury. Refund amounts vary based on the return, but the IRS estimates that half are more than $813.

If you didn't file because you didn't make enough money, you should definitely file a return now. You likely had money withheld from your paycheck for federal taxes. Filing a return will get that money returned to you and you may be able to claim credits that you didn’t know you were entitled to, like the Earned Income Tax Credit. If you had income, you should file a return.

What About Penalties?

There isn’t a penalty for late filing a refund return. Late filing and late payment penalties are only assessed if you have a balance due that wasn’t paid by the deadline.

Besides claiming credits and getting a refund, filing a return each year has other benefits. It helps to protect your identity. Every year, the IRS flags millions of returns for fraud. These returns always have claims to very large refunds and often use Social Security Numbers belonging to people who didn’t have a filing requirement. Tax related Identity Theft can be a complicated and expensive mess to clean up. Filing a return each year is a simple and inexpensive way to help prevent this from happening to you.

Filing your return each year will also make buying or refinancing your home or getting a loan for another large purchase faster and easier. Lenders often require copies and proof of filing 1-3 years of returns. With the rapid pace of the current real estate market and increasing interest rates, you could easily miss out if you have to take time to get required returns prepared and filed.

If you need to file a return for 2018 or even 2019-2021, you can find the forms and instructions at Forms and Publications. Missing your tax documents? You can use the Get Transcript Online tool to request a copy of your Wage & Income Transcript. Your 2018 return will need to be mailed to the IRS for processing and you can find the correct address on the last page of the 1040 instructions. Sending it by Certified Mail is always recommended. Returns for 2019 and later can still be electronically filed.

Many happy returns! See you next week with more tax tips and helpful tidbits.

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