Unclaimed Tax Refunds

| January 3, 2012

There are literally billions of dollars worth of unclaimed tax refunds waiting for their rightful owner to claim them. The reason this money remains unclaimed is that people simply do not realize this money was owed to them. This money goes overlooked by individuals for several reasons.

The primary reason for unclaimed tax refunds is that the individual did not file taxes. The reason for this is often that the individual did not make enough money to be required to file. What they do not understand, is that even if you fall beneath that threshold, there are refundable credits that they may qualify for that will pay out cash, whether you earned a lot of money or not.

The highest paying, and often overlooked credit, is the Earned Income Credit. Many assume that this credit is only for families with children. However, under certain circumstances, individuals with no children can qualify as well. Low income families that do have children, and choose not to file, might be losing out on as much as several thousand dollars.

The Making Work Pay credit is another refundable credit. This credit pays four hundred dollars to individuals that file single, and eight hundred dollars to couples that file jointly. If you did not file because you income was low, you missed out on this credit, and it may be owed to you.

Another reason for unclaimed refunds, is that an individual may not have claimed the correct number of dependents. By claiming too few dependents, you loose all of the tax credits and deductions associated with each. If you did file, and think you may have made this mistake, you may want to consider filing an amended return.

If you just are not sure if any of this applies to you, and did not file taxes for one or more years due to low income, you should consider filing now. So long as you do not owe taxes, there is no penalty for going back and filing these returns. Keep in mind that if you owe child support, past taxes, or any federal debt, any money due to you could be withheld.

There are resources online that specialize in helping individuals find out if they are owed money. There is usually a fee associated with this service, but if you are one of the lucky ones, chances are you will not mind paying a nominal amount to find out the good news.

Another option would be to take your income records to a tax preparer, and let them tell you if you should be owed money or not. If you find out you will be, you can let the preparer complete, and file the taxes for you. Again, there will be a cost associated with this, but the amount you get back will likely more than cover this cost.

There are just a few of the reasons of unclaimed tax refunds. Even if you do not suspect that you have money coming to you, it is worth checking into. You just may be in for a pleasant surprise.

Category: Tax

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