You Can Still File Your 2019 Taxes if You’re Due a Refund

Tax day for 2022 has handed. However one other deadline looms for individuals who could also be sitting on refunds as a result of they’ve but to file 2019 tax returns that had been due within the early days of the pandemic.

In the event that they don’t file by the ultimate cutoff of July 17, the U.S. Treasury retains the cash.

Virtually 1.5 million folks have unclaimed federal refunds for tax yr 2019, when the everyday refund quantity was almost $900, the Inside Income Service stated this month.

Whereas a deadline in July could sound like loads of time, it could actually take some time to collect paperwork from earlier tax years.

“We wish taxpayers to assert these refunds,” Daniel Werfel, the I.R.S. commissioner, stated in a press release, “however time is operating out.”

Taxpayers usually have three years from tax day to file and declare their refunds. (There’s no penalty for failing to file when you’re getting a reimbursement.)

Returns for tax yr 2019 had been due in 2020, early within the pandemic. Many individuals confronted “extraordinarily uncommon conditions” and will have neglected their tax returns or forgotten that they had been owed refunds, Mr. Werfel stated.

The unique tax submitting date in 2020 was delayed till July 15 that yr due to the pandemic, so the same old three-year window was prolonged once more to July 17, 2023.

A number of the unclaimed refunds could also be for folks, like faculty college students or part-time employees, who didn’t earn sufficient to fulfill the submitting threshold. (The edge in 2019 was $12,200 for single filers and $24,400 for {couples} submitting collectively, with increased thresholds for folks 65 and older.)

“Individuals ought to completely file for his or her tax refund and never depart the cash on the desk,” even when they aren’t required to file a return, stated Lisa Greene-Lewis, a licensed public accountant and spokeswoman for TurboTax.

Refunds might also be owed to many low- and moderate-income employees who had been eligible for the earned-income tax credit score. The credit score, value as a lot as $6,557 for 2019, is “refundable,” which suggests you may nonetheless get a refund even when you don’t owe any tax.

The earned-income tax credit score is predicated on earnings and household dimension. In 2019, for example, a person with earnings as much as $50,162 and three or extra youngsters was doubtlessly eligible for the credit score. A person with earnings as much as $15,570 and no youngsters might also be eligible.

Although you may nonetheless file your 2019 return, you shouldn’t anticipate to get your refund swiftly. That’s as a result of 2019 returns have to be filed on paper, which take longer for the I.R.S. to course of.

“Notably, paper-filed returns could take vital time for processing and issuing a refund,” stated Eric Bronnenkant, head of tax at robo-adviser Betterment.

Eric Smith, an I.R.S. spokesman, stated the company accepts electronically filed returns for the present season and two years prior. For this yr, meaning you may electronically file returns for tax years 2022, 2021 and 2020.

Returns for 2019, nonetheless, “have to be filed on paper, whether or not self-prepared or submitted with the help of a paid preparer,” he stated.

You are able to do your 2019 return utilizing industrial do-it-yourself tax software program, however you’ll should print it out and mail it to the I.R.S. (IRS Free File, this system that offers filers entry to free tax software program based mostly on their earnings, can be utilized just for current-year returns, Mr. Smith stated.)

However when you nonetheless haven’t filed return for tax yr 2020 or 2021, you may have a tax skilled put together it and file it electronically. The I.R.S. presents a searchable record of credentialed preparers.

Mr. Smith added that the I.R.S. was trying “ for alternatives to develop e-file, together with reviewing e-filing of prior yr returns.”

Listed here are some questions and solutions about submitting your 2019 tax returns:

It is best to collect paperwork quickly, as a result of it’d take time to acquire W-2 statements and different paperwork earlier than the July deadline. You’ll be able to request copies of W-2s out of your employer and curiosity statements out of your financial institution. For those who can’t get the types that means, the quickest possibility is to order a free “wage and earnings” transcript on-line at, which exhibits info reported to the I.R.S. You too can request a transcript in writing by submitting Type 4506-T. The request can take a number of weeks to course of, although, so the I.R.S. urges folks to strive the opposite choices first.

Your 2019 refund examine could also be held when you haven’t filed returns for 2020 and 2021, the I.R.S. stated. The refund may also be utilized to any quantities you continue to owe to the I.R.S. or to a state tax company. The refund cash will also be used to offset unpaid youngster assist or past-due federal money owed, like pupil loans.

Present and prior yr tax types and directions can be found on-line at Kinds and Publications, or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

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