INDIANAPOLIS -- Unclaimed refunds totaling more than $42 million are awaiting more than 38,000 Hoosiers who failed to file a 2000 income tax return, the Internal Revenue Service has announced. In order to collect the money, however, a return must be filed with an IRS office no later than April 15, 2004.
The IRS estimates that half of those who could claim refunds would receive more than $529. In some cases, individuals had taxes withheld from their wages, or made payments against their taxes out of self-employed earnings, but had too little income to require filing a tax return. Some taxpayers may also be eligible for the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit.
In cases where a return was not filed, the law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window of opportunity for claiming a refund. If no return is filed to claim the refund within three years, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury. For 2000 returns, the window closes on April 15, 2004. The law requires that the return be properly addressed, postmarked and mailed by that date. There is no penalty assessed by the IRS for filing a late return qualifying for a refund.
The IRS reminds taxpayers seeking a 2000 refund that their checks will be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2001 or 2002.
Current and prior year tax forms are available on the IRS Web site (www.irs.gov) or by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676). Taxpayers who need help also can call the IRS help line at 1-800-829-1040.