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WASHINGTON — Refunds totaling more than $1 billion may be waiting for one million people who did not file a federal income tax return for 2008, the Internal Revenue Service announced today. However, to collect the money, a return for 2008 must be filed with the IRS no later than Tuesday, April 17, 2012.

The IRS estimates that half of these potential 2008 refunds are $637 or more.

Some people may not have filed 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 for claiming a refund. If no return is filed to claim a refund within three years, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury.

For 2008 returns, the window closes on April 17, 2012. The law requires that the return be properly addressed, mailed and postmarked by that date. There is no penalty for filing a late return qualifying for a refund.

The IRS reminds taxpayers seeking a 2008 refund that their checks may be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2009 and 2010. 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, people stand to lose more than refunds of taxes withheld or paid during 2008. Some people, especially those who did not receive an economic stimulus payment in 2008, may qualify for the Recovery Rebate Credit. 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. The thresholds for 2008 were:

  • $38,646 ($41,646 if married filing jointly) for those with two or more qualifying children,
  • $33,995 ($36,995 if married filing jointly) for people with one qualifying child, and
  • $12,880 ($15,880 if married filing jointly) for those with no qualifying children.

For more information, visit the EITC Home Page on IRS.gov.

Current and prior year tax forms and instructions are available on the Forms and Publications page of IRS.gov or by calling toll-free 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676). Taxpayers who are missing Forms W-2, 1098, 1099 or 5498 for 2008, 2009 or 2010 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 it on IRS.gov, filing Form 4506-T, or by calling 800-908-9946.

TaxACT offers online and download options for previous year returns. You can prepare and print a 2008 return using TaxACT Online Deluxe or by downloading TaxACT Deluxe for just $12.95. Start a 2008 online return or order your software now.

Individuals Who Did Not File a 2008 Return with a Potential Refund

State Individuals Median Potential Refund Total Potential Refunds ($000)*
Alabama 18,400 $641 $15,738
Alaska 5,800 $641 $5,952
Arizona 29,000 $558 $24,913
Arkansas 9,600 $620 $8,152
California 122,500 $595 $112,201
Colorado 20,500 $589 $18,909
Connecticut 12,500 $697 $13,893
Delaware 4,200 $644 $3,784
District of Columbia 4,000 $642 $3,791
Florida 70,400 $650 $66,974
Georgia 35,800 $581 $30,661
Hawaii 7,600 $714 $8,307
Idaho 4,700 $541 $3,878
Illinois 40,800 $692 $40,712
Indiana 21,800 $664 $19,590
Iowa 10,600 $658 $9,295
Kansas 11,500 $631 $10,084
Kentucky 12,300 $640 $10,501
Louisiana 20,500 $662 $18,859
Maine 4,000 $579 $3,248
Maryland 24,600 $641 $22,591
Massachusetts 23,900 $699 $22,957
Michigan 33,300 $660 $30,903
Minnesota 15,200 $584 $12,772
Mississippi 9,900 $591 $8,254
Missouri 21,600 $593 $18,213
Montana 3,600 $599 $3,192
Nebraska 5,100 $623 $4,371
Nevada 14,500 $619 $13,381
New Hampshire 4,300 $733 $4,518
New Jersey 31,300 $716 $31,185
New Mexico 8,000 $611 $7,420
New York 60,300 $686 $61,240
North Carolina 30,800 $558 $24,997
North Dakota 2,000 $625 $1,895
Ohio 36,400 $622 $31,018
Oklahoma 16,800 $620 $14,787
Oregon 18,500 $527 $14,819
Pennsylvania 38,700 $695 $35,565
Rhode Island 3,400 $674 $3,040
South Carolina 12,200 $547 $10,158
South Dakota 2,300 $669 $2,234
Tennessee 18,400 $626 $16,130
Texas 96,200 $689 $97,057
Utah 7,800 $536 $6,676
Vermont 1,700 $647 $1,410
Virginia 30,800 $624 $28,670
Washington 29,900 $705 $32,138
West Virginia 4,300 $687 $4,068
Wisconsin 14,100 $592 $11,885
Wyoming 2,600 $773 $2,919
Grand Total 1,089,000 $637 $1,009,905

*Excluding the Earned Income Tax Credit and other credits.

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Upcoming Tax Dates

April 10 Employees who work for tips
If you received $20 or more in tips during March, report them to your employer. You can use Form 4070.

April 10 Communications and air transportation taxes under the alternative method
Deposit the tax included in amounts billed or tickets sold during the first 15 days of March.

April 14 Regular method taxes
Deposit the tax for the last 16 days of March.

April 15 Individuals
File a 2014 income tax return (Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ) and pay any tax due. If you want an automatic 6 month extension of time to file the return, file Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. For more information, see Form 4868. Then, file Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ by October 15.

April 15 Individuals
If you are not paying your 2015 income tax through withholding (or will not pay in enough tax during the year that way), pay the first installment of your 2015 estimated tax. Use Form 1040ES.

April 15 Household Employers
If you paid cash wages of $1,800 or more in 2014 to a household employee, you must file Schedule H - Details

April 15 Partnerships
File a 2014 calendar year return (Form 1065) - Details

April 15 Partnerships
Electing large partnerships: File a 2014 calendar year return (Form 1065-B) - Details

April 15 Corporations
Deposit the first installment of estimated income tax for 2015 - Details

April 15 Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in March.

April 15 Nonpayroll withholding
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in March.

April 15 Household employers
If you paid cash wages of $1,900 or more in 2014 to a household employee, you must file Schedule H (Form 1040). If you are required to file a federal income tax return (Form 1040), file Schedule H (Form 1040) with the return and report any household employment taxes. Report any federal unemployment (FUTA) tax on Schedule H (Form 1040) if you paid total cash wages of $1,000 or more in any calendar quarter of 2013 or 2014 to household employees. Also, report any income tax you withheld for your household employees.

April 27 Communications and air transportation taxes under the alternative method
Deposit the tax included in amounts billed or tickets sold during the last 16 days of March.

April 29 Regular method taxes
Deposit the tax for the first 15 days of April.

April 30 Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
File Form 941 for the first quarter of 2015. Deposit or pay any undeposited tax under the accuracy of deposit rules. If your tax liability is less than $2,500, you can pay it in full with a timely filed return. If you deposited the tax for the quarter timely, properly, and in full, you have until May 11 to file the return.

April 30 Federal unemployment tax.
Deposit the tax owed through March if more than $500.

April 30 Form 720 taxes
File Form 720 for the first quarter of 2015.

April 30 Wagering tax
File Form 730 and pay the tax on wagers accepted during March.

April 30 Heavy highway vehicle use tax
File Form 2290 and pay the tax for vehicles first used in March.

View More Tax Dates