Taxes

IRS: Refunds worth $1.1 billion waiting to be claimed by those who have not filed 2014 federal income tax returns

WASHINGTON ―Unclaimed federal income tax refunds totaling about $1.1 billion may be waiting for an estimated 1 million taxpayers who did not file a 2014 federal income tax return, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

To collect the money, these taxpayers must file their 2014 tax return with the IRS no later than this year’s tax deadline, Tuesday, April 17.

“We’re trying to connect a million people with their share of $1.1 billion in unclaimed refunds for 2014,” said Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter. “Time is running out for people who haven’t filed tax returns to claim their refunds. Students, part-time workers and many others may have overlooked filing for 2014. And there’s no penalty for filing a late return if you’re due a refund.”

The IRS estimates the midpoint for the potential refunds for 2014 to be $847; half of the refunds are more than $847 and half are less.

In cases where a federal income tax return was not filed, the law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window of opportunity for claiming a tax refund. If they do not file a tax return within three years, the money becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury. For 2014 tax returns, the window closes April 17, 2018. The law requires taxpayers to properly address, mail and ensure the tax return is postmarked by that date.

The IRS reminds taxpayers seeking a 2014 tax refund that their checks may be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2015 and 2016. In addition, the refund will be applied to any amounts still owed to the IRS or a state tax agency and may be used to offset unpaid child support or past due federal debts, such as student loans.

By failing to file a tax return, people stand to lose more than just their refund of taxes withheld or paid during 2014. Many low- and moderate-income workers may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). For 2014, the credit was worth as much as $6,143. The EITC helps individuals and families whose incomes are below certain thresholds. The thresholds for 2014 were:

  • $46,997 ($52,427 if married filing jointly) for those with three or more qualifying children;
  • $43,756 ($49,186 if married filing jointly) for people with two qualifying children;
  • $38,511 ($43,941 if married filing jointly) for those with one qualifying child, and;
  • $14,590 ($20,020 if married filing jointly) for people without qualifying children.

Current and prior year tax forms (such as the tax year 2014 Form 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ) and instructions are available on the IRS.gov Forms and Publications page or by calling toll-free 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

Taxpayers who are missing Forms W-2, 1098, 1099 or 5498 for the years 2014, 2015 or 2016 should request copies from their employer, bank or other payer. Taxpayers who are unable to get missing forms from their employer or other payer can order a free wage and income transcript at IRS.gov using the Get Transcript Online tool. Alternatively, they can file Form 4506-T to request a wage and income transcript. A wage and income transcript shows data from information returns received by the IRS, such as Forms W-2, 1099, 1098, Form 5498, and IRA contribution Information. Taxpayers can use the information on the transcript to file their tax return.

State-by-state estimates of individuals who may be due 2014 income tax refunds 

State or District Estimated

Number of

Individuals

Median

Potential

Refund

Total

Potential

Refunds*

Alabama 17,700 $836 $18,302,700
Alaska 4,500 $898 $5,263,200
Arizona 23,800 $750 $23,496,700
Arkansas 9,500 $808 $9,726,900
California 93,600 $785 $95,745,100
Colorado 20,400 $796 $20,887,500
Connecticut 11,000 $934 $12,740,100
Delaware 4,000 $883 $4,378,400
District of Columbia 3,000 $850 $3,237,700
Florida 69,800 $865 $74,040,300
Georgia 34,800 $772 $35,006,000
Hawaii 6,200 $898 $6,830,900
Idaho 4,500 $723 $4,376,100
Illinois 39,500 $895 $43,600,000
Indiana 22,700 $878 $24,353,000
Iowa 10,500 $885 $11,083,400
Kansas 11,100 $852 $11,645,300
Kentucky 13,600 $848 $14,035,100
Louisiana 19,900 $846 $21,700,800
Maine 4,000 $804 $3,941,700
Maryland 21,800 $853 $23,773,000
Massachusetts 22,800 $935 $26,018,500
Michigan 34,100 $845 $36,505,700
Minnesota 15,800 $785 $15,832,600
Mississippi 10,200 $777 $10,291,100
Missouri 23,000 $797 $23,212,400
Montana 3,500 $808 $3,617,700
Nebraska 5,600 $806 $5,629,100
Nevada 12,000 $831 $12,663,200
New Hampshire 4,600 $917 $5,169,500
New Jersey 28,600 $928 $32,452,500
New Mexico 7,800 $831 $8,472,600
New York 53,600 $913 $60,135,600
North Carolina 30,800 $791 $30,659,900
North Dakota 3,000 $952 $3,433,300
Ohio 38,100 $826 $38,956,700
Oklahoma 17,200 $855 $18,366,800
Oregon 15,100 $747 $14,816,600
Pennsylvania 39,300 $907 $42,866,100
Rhode Island 2,900 $916 $3,217,200
South Carolina 12,000 $757 $12,023,400
South Dakota 3,000 $866 $3,075,300
Tennessee 20,300 $837 $20,967,500
Texas 108,100 $899 $121,956,100
Utah 7,800 $754 $7,831,300
Vermont 2,100 $816 $2,028,600
Virginia 27,800 $828 $29,345,300
Washington 27,000 $894 $30,423,900
West Virginia 5,200 $914 $5,875,100
Wisconsin 13,400 $774 $13,041,800
Wyoming 3,000 $973 $3,556,300
Totals 1,043,600 $847 $1,110,605,600

 

* Excluding the Earned Income Tax

Check Status of a Tax Refund in Minutes Using Where’s My Refund?

The Where’s My Refund? tool gives taxpayers access to their tax return and refund status anytime. All they need is internet access and three pieces of information:
• Their Social Security number.
• Their filing status.
• The exact whole dollar amount of their refund.
Taxpayers can start checking on the status of their return within 24 hours after the IRS received their e-filed return, or four weeks after they mail a paper return. Where’s My Refund? includes a tracker that displays progress through three stages: the IRS receives the tax return, then approves the refund, and sends the refund.
Where’s My Refund? updates once every 24 hours, usually overnight. Taxpayers should remember that checking the status more often will not produce new results. Taxpayers on the go can track their return and refund status on their mobile devices using the free IRS2Go app. Those who file an amended return should check out the Where’s My Amended Return? tool.
Generally, the IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, but some may take longer. IRS phone and walk-in representatives can research the status of refunds only if it’s been 21 days or more since a taxpayer filed electronically, or more than six weeks since they mailed a paper return. Taxpayers can also contact the IRS if Where’s My Refund? directs them to do so.
There is a misconception that a tax transcript can help taxpayers determine the status of their refund. The information included on a transcript does not necessarily reflect the amount or timing of a refund. Transcripts are best used to validate past income and tax filing status for loan applications, and to help with tax preparation.
Share this tip on social media — #IRSTaxTip:Check Status of a Tax Refund in Minutes Using Where’s My Refund? https://go.usa.gov/xnuCu

IRS Withholding Calculator

The IRS encourages everyone to use the Withholding Calculator to perform a quick “paycheck checkup.”  This is even more important this year because of recent changes to the tax law for 2018.

The Calculator helps you identify your tax withholding to make sure you have the right amount of tax withheld from your paycheck at work.

There are several reasons to check your withholding:

  • Checking your withholding can help protect against having too little tax withheld and facing an unexpected tax bill or penalty at tax time next year.
  • At the same time, with the average refund topping $2,800, you may prefer to have less tax withheld up front and receive more in your paychecks.

If you are an employee, the Withholding Calculator helps you determine whether you need to give your employer a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. You can use your results from the Calculator to help fill out the form and adjust your income tax withholding.

Plan Ahead: Tips For Using This Program

The Calculator will ask you to estimate values of your 2018 income, the number of children you will claim for the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit, and other items that will affect your 2018 taxes. This process will take a few minutes.

  • Gather your most recent pay stubs.
  • Have your most recent income tax return handy; a copy of your completed Form 1040 will help you estimate your 2018 income and other characteristics and speed the process.
  • Keep in mind that the Calculator’s results will only be as accurate as the information you provide.  If your circumstances change during the year, come back to this Calculator to make sure that your withholding is still correct.
  • The Withholding Calculator does not ask you to provide sensitive personally-identifiable information like your name, Social Security number, address or bank account numbers. The IRS does not save or record the information you enter on the Calculator.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This Withholding Calculator works for most taxpayers. People with more complex tax situations should use the instructions in Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, expected to be updated in early spring. This includes taxpayers who owe self-employment tax, alternative minimum tax, the tax on unearned income of dependents or certain other taxes, and people with long-term capital gains or qualified dividends.

Ready to start? Make sure Javascript is enabled.

 

Withholding Calculator

To Change Your Withholding:

  • Use your results from this Calculator to help you complete a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, and
  • Submit the completed Form to your employer as soon as possible. Withholding takes place throughout the year, so it’s better to take this step as soon as possible.

Special Note for 2019:  If you follow the recommendations at the end of this Calculator and change your withholding for 2018, the IRS reminds you to be sure to recheck your withholding at the start of 2019. This is especially important if you reduce your withholding sometime during 2018. A mid-year withholding change in 2018 may have a different full-year impact in 2019. So if you do not file a new Form W-4 for 2019, your withholding might be higher or lower than you intend. To help protect against having too little withheld in 2019, we encourage checking your withholding again early in 2019.

If you have additional questions about your withholding, consult your employer or tax advisor.

IRS Can Help Taxpayers Get Form W-2

Most taxpayers got their Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, by the end of January. Taxpayers need their W-2s to file an accurate tax returns, as the form shows an employee’s income and taxes withheld for the year.
Taxpayers who haven’t received their W-2 by the end of February should:
• Contact their Employer. Taxpayers should ask their current or former employer for a copy of their W-2. Be sure the employer has the correct address.
• Call the IRS. Taxpayers who are unable to get a copy from their employer by the end of February may call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 for a substitute W-2. The IRS will send a letter to the employer on taxpayers’ behalf. When they call, taxpayers need their:
• Name, address, Social Security number and phone number.
• Employer’s name, address and phone number.
• Employment dates.
• Estimate of wages and federal income tax withheld in 2017. Use a final pay stub for these amounts.
• File on Time. Taxpayers should file their tax return by April 17, 2018. If they still haven’t received their W-2, they should use Form 4852, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. They should estimate their wages and taxes withheld as best as possible. To request more time to file, they should use Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File. Taxpayers can also e-file a request for more time using IRS Free File. Taxpayers should remember that an extension of time to file isn’t an extension of time to pay taxes owed. Taxpayers can also get an extension by paying all or part of their estimated income tax due, and indicate that the payment is for an extension using Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, or a credit or debit card. This way, the taxpayer won’t have to file a separate extension form and will receive a confirmation number for their records.
• Correct a Tax Return, if Necessary. Taxpayers may need to correct their tax return. This could happen if they get a missing W-2 after they file. If the tax information on the W-2 is different from what they first reported, they may need to file an amended tax return. Use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to make the change.
All taxpayers should keep a copy of their tax return. Taxpayers using a software product for the first time may need their Adjusted Gross Income from last year’s tax return to verify their identity. Taxpayers can learn more about how to verify their identity and electronically sign tax returns at Validating Your Electronically Filed Tax Return.

Feb 22, 2018 – IRS Funding Information

The IRS releases refunds each weekday throughout the year. We provide the percentage of refunds that have not yet been funded by the IRS. We update these funding statistics at approximately 2:00pm eastern each weekday throughout the year.

As of today, the estimated percentage of refunds not yet released by the IRS are:

– for returns filed 01/17 – 01/22, approximately 10% have not yet been released by the IRS.

– for returns filed 01/23 – 02/05, approximately 15% have not yet been released by the IRS.

– for returns filed 02/06 – 02/07, approximately 80% have not yet been released by the IRS.

– for returns filed 02/08 – 02/12, approximately 90% have not yet been released by the IRS.

– for returns filed 02/13 – 02/15, approximately 95% have not yet been released by the IRS.

– for returns filed 02/16 and beyond, the IRS has released very few refunds.

    Feb 21, 2018 – IRS Funding Information

The IRS releases refunds each weekday throughout the year. We provide the percentage of refunds that have not yet been funded by the IRS. We update these funding statistics at approximately 2:00pm eastern each weekday throughout the year.

As of today, the estimated percentage of refunds not yet released by the IRS are:

– for returns filed 01/17 – 01/21, approximately 10% have not yet been released by the IRS.

– for returns filed 01/22 – 01/30, approximately 15% have not yet been released by the IRS.

– for returns filed 01/31 – 02/06, approximately 80% have not yet been released by the IRS.

– for returns filed 02/07 – 02/12, approximately 90% have not yet been released by the IRS.

– for returns filed 02/13 and beyond, the IRS has released very few refunds.

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