Want a Piece of $1 Billion?

On February 23, 2012, the IRS announced that it has an estimated $1 Billion for the one million people who did not file their federal income tax returns in 2008, and of the one million people, over 33,000 are from Michigan. According to the IRS, it is not too late to claim a refund for 2008, as long as the tax return is filed by April 17, 2012. The tax laws provide most taxpayers with a three-year window in which to claim a refund, so the time for ensuring you receive a refund for 2008 is running out. If the return is not filed within that time, the money becomes property of the United States Treasury.

More than refunds are on the line for those who do not file their 2008 return. Certain credits may be lost as well, such as the Recovery Rebate Credit or the Earned Income Tax Credit. The Recovery Rebate Credit is a one-time benefit for people who did not receive the full economic stimulus payment in 2008 and whose circumstances may have changed, making them eligible now for some or all of the unpaid portion. The Earned Income Tax Credit is a refundable federal income tax credit for low to moderate income working individuals and families, who meet certain thresholds. In 2008, the thresholds 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.

If you or someone you know failed to file their 2008 returns, note these details:

  • The 2008 return must be filed no later than Tuesday, April 17, 2012.
  • The return must be properly address, mailed, and postmarked by April 17, 2012.
  • Refund checks may be held if the taxpayer has not filed his or her 2009 or 2010 returns.
  • Refund checks will be applied to any amounts owed to the IRS.
  • There is no penalty for filing a late return qualifying for a refund.
  • Refund checks may be applied towards unpaid child support or past due federal debts (e.g., student loans).
  • Prior year tax forms with instructions are available at www.irs.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM.

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