IRS Has $1.1 Billion for People Who Have Not Filed a 2007 Income Tax Return

Refunds totaling more than $1.1 billion may be waiting for nearly 1.1 million people who did not file a federal income tax return for 2007.  However, to collect the money, a return for 2007 must be filed with the IRS no later than Monday, April 18, 2011.  The IRS estimates that half of these potential 2007 refunds are $640 or more.

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Some people may not have filed their 2007 federal income tax return because they had too little income to require filing a tax return, even though they had taxes withheld from their wages or made quarterly estimated payments.  In cases where a return was not filed, the law provides most taxpayers with a three year window of opportunity to claim a refund.  If no return is filed to claim a refund within three years of the original due date of the return, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury.

For 2007 returns, this window closes on April 18, 2011.  The law requires that the tax return be properly addressed, mailed, and postmarked by that date.  There is no penalty for filing a late return that qualifies for a refund.

The IRS reminds taxpayers seeking a 2007 refund that their checks will be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2008 and 2009.  In addition, the refund will be applied to any amounts still owed to the IRS, and may be used to offset unpaid child support or past due federal debts such as student loans.

By failing to file a return, taxpayers stand to lose more than a refund of taxes withheld or paid during 2007.  In addition, many low-and-moderate income workers may not have claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).  The EITC helps individuals and families whose incomes are below certain thresholds, which in 2007 were $39,783 for those with two or more children, $35,241 for people with one child, and $14,590 for those with no children.

Current and prior year tax forms and instructions are available on the Forms and Publications page of IRS.gov or by calling toll-free 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676).  Taxpayers who are missing Forms W-2, 1098, 1099 or 5498 for 2007, 2008 or 2009 should request copies from their employer, bank, or other payer.  If these efforts are unsuccessful, taxpayers can get a free transcript showing information from these year-end documents by ordering online at www.irs.gov, by calling 1-800-908-9946, or by filing IRS Form 4506-T (Request for Transcript of Tax Return) with the IRS.

Below is an estimate of the number of individuals who did not file a 2007 income tax return, and the value of the potential refund.

State  Individuals   

Median
   Potential Refund   

Total Potential
   Refund ($000)*   

Alabama$17,600$634$15,649
Alaska5,200$688$6,545
Arizona31,000$543$29,217
Arkansas9,100$606$8,111
California124,000$597$129,205
Coloroda20,900%588$21,591
Connecticut11,900$714$14,769
Delaware4,000$658$4,121
District of Columbia    
4,400$629$4751
Florida74,500$665$87,293
Georgia36,800$590$34,475
Hawaii7,600$717$8,960
Idaho4,600$540$4,340
Illinois38,800$692$44,168
Indiana20,200$679$19,864
Iowa9,500$668$8,411
Kansas10,400$621$9,601
Kentucky11,200$660$10,449
Loisiana19,500$663$20,327
Maine3,600$606$4,398
Maryland25,100$645$27,727
Massachusetts23,000$701$26,881
Michigan30,800$663$31,943
Minnesota14,000$604$13,786
Mississippi9,400$585$8,400
Missouri20,300$604$18,588
Montana3,400$607$3,185
Nebraska4,700$620$4,509
Nevada15,000$630$15,575
New Hampshire3,900$741$4,960
New Jersey31,000$705$36,504
New Mexico7,900$594$7,510
New York62,600$706$78,405
North Carolina29,300$565$26,385
North Dakota1,600$635$1,877
Ohio33,200$620$30,240
Oklahoma15,200$620$14,280
Oregon17,600$521$15,309
Pennsylvania34,600$686$35,317
Rhode Island3,100$644$3,380
South Carolina12,400$561$11,132
South Dakota2,000$639$1,937
Tennessee17,200$633$17,049
Texas91,700$692$104,801
Utah7,600$560$8,392
Vermont1,700$672$1,694
Virginia29,800$629$31,380
Washington28,200$702$34,692
West Virginia3,500$686$3,484
Wisconsin12,900$593$11,609
Wyoming2,700$788$3,350
Grand Total1,060,200$640$1,120,566