WASHINGTON — Federal income tax refunds totaling $1 billion may be waiting for an estimated one million taxpayers who did not file a federal income tax return for 2011, the Internal Revenue Service announced today. To collect the money, these taxpayers must file a 2011 tax return with the IRS no later than Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

"Time is running out for people who didn't file a 2011 federal income tax return to claim their refund," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "People could be missing out on a substantial refund, especially students or part-time workers. Some people may not have filed because they didn't make much money, but they may still be entitled to a refund."

The IRS estimates half of the potential refunds for 2011 are more than $698.

In cases where a tax return was not filed, the law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window of opportunity for claiming a refund. For 2011 tax returns, the window closes on April 15, 2015. If no return is filed to claim a refund within three years, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury.

The law requires 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 2011 refund that their checks may be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2012 and 2013. In addition, the refund will be applied to any amounts still owed to the IRS, or their 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 2011. Many low-and-moderate income workers may not have claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). For 2011, the credit is worth as much as $5,751. The EITC helps individuals and families whose incomes are below certain thresholds. The thresholds for 2011 were:

  • $43,998 ($49,078 if married filing jointly) for those with three or more qualifying children,
  • $40,964 ($46,044 if married filing jointly) for people with two qualifying children,
  • $36,052 ($41,132 if married filing jointly) for those with one qualifying child, and
  • $13,660 ($18,740 if married filing jointly) for people without qualifying children.

Current and prior year tax forms 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: 2011, 2012 or 2013 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 going to IRS.gov. Taxpayers can also file Form 4506-T to request a transcript of their tax return.

Individuals who did not file a 2011 return with a potential refund:

State or District Estimated Number
of Individuals
Median Potential Refund Total Potential Refunds*
Alabama

19,900

$693

$17,794,000

Alaska

5,300

$795

$5,703,000

Arizona

27,700

$618

$23,649,000

Arkansas

10,600

$678

$9,371,000

California

103,700

$627

$92,209,000

Colorado

21,100

$668

$19,258,000

Connecticut

13,400

$777

$13,415,000

Delaware

4,800

$726

$4,579,000

District of Columbia

3,900

$736

$3,812,000

Florida

67,500

$720

$64,106,000

Georgia

36,200

$628

$31,250,000

Hawaii

7,100

$742

$6,842,000

Idaho

4,700

$595

$3,838,000

Illinois

44,000

$763

$43,177,000

Indiana

23,900

$732

$22,135,000

Iowa

11,100

$719

$10,128,000

Kansas

11,600

$667

$10,421,000

Kentucky

14,300

$736

$12,935,000

Louisiana

22,000

$693

$21,432,000

Maine

4,500

$645

$3,748,000

Maryland

25,000

$694

$23,628,000

Massachusetts

25,800

$736

$25,005,000

Michigan

36,200

$721

$34,254,000

Minnesota

16,500

$632

$14,148,000

Mississippi

11,100

$629

$9,625,000

Missouri

23,600

$655

$20,378,000

Montana

3,700

$676

$3,381,000

Nebraska

5,700

$683

$5,108,000

Nevada

13,300

$702

$12,185,000

New Hampshire

4,600

$775

$4,518,000

New Jersey

34,200

$780

$34,520,000

New Mexico

8,500

$688

$7,799,000

New York

63,400

$765

$62,809,000

North Carolina

31,700

$595

$26,248,000

North Dakota

2,600

$761

$2,591,000

Ohio

39,600

$699

$35,218,000

Oklahoma

19,300

$707

$17,988,000

Oregon

17,500

$598

$14,262,000

Pennsylvania

44,000

$770

$42,228,000

Rhode Island

3,400

$748

$3,270,000

South Carolina

13,200

$609

$11,160,000

South Dakota

2,600

$732

$2,480,000

Tennessee

20,700

$690

$18,630,000

Texas

101,800

$743

$103,164,000

Utah

8,000

$610

$6,944,000

Vermont

2,100

$707

$1,921,000

Virginia

32,100

$685

$29,647,000

Washington

28,400

$750

$28,705,000

West Virginia

5,100

$784

$5,023,000

Wisconsin

14,100

$621

$11,953,000

Wyoming

2,800

$835

$2,984,000

Totals

1,117,900

$698

$1,041,576,000

*Excluding the Earned Income Tax Credit and other credits.

TaxAct offers easy, fast and affordable ways to file 2011 tax returns. Start your TaxAct Online return or purchase download software here.

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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 18 — Individuals
File a 2016 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 16.

April 18 — Corporations
File a 2016 calendar year income tax return (Form 1120) and pay any tax due. Details

April 18 — Individuals
If you are not paying your 2017 income tax through withholding (or will not pay in enough tax during the year that way), pay the first installment of your 2017 estimated tax. Use Form 1040ES.

April 18 — Household Employers
f you paid cash wages of $1,800 or more in 2016 to a household employee, you must file Schedule H Details

April 18 — Corporations
Deposit the first installment of estimated income tax for 2017 Details

April 18 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in March.

April 18 — Nonpayroll withholding
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in March.

April 18 — Household employers
If you paid cash wages of $1,900 or more in 2016 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 2015 or 2016 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.

View More Tax Dates