HONOLULU (KHON2) — The IRS has unclaimed federal income tax refunds worth more than $7.8 million for thousands of Hawaii taxpayers who did not file a 2017 federal income tax return.
Taxpayers have until May 17 to file their 2017 tax return if they want to collect their refunds.
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“Time is quickly running out for these taxpayers,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “There’s only a three-year window to claim these refunds… We want to help people get these refunds, but they will need to quickly file a 2017 tax return.”
According to the IRS, unclaimed income tax refunds worth more than $1.3 billion await an estimated 1.3 million taxpayers who did not file a 2017 Form 1040 federal income tax return. This includes a total of $7,827,400 for an estimated 7,600 Hawaii taxpayers.
The midpoint for potential refunds is estimated to be $865, which means half of the refunds are more than $865 and half are less. For Hawaii taxpayers, the median potential refund is $913.
If taxpayers do not claim their refund within the three-year window, then the money becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury.
Taxpayers seeking a 2017 tax refund must address, mail and ensure that their return is postmarked by May 17. Their checks may be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2018 and 2019.
“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,” the IRS said.
Earned Income Tax Credit
The IRS is also reminding people that by failing to file a tax return, they can lose more than just their refund of taxes withheld or paid during 2017. Many low- and moderate-income workers may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The credit was worth as much as $6,318 for 2017.
The EITC helps taxpayers whose incomes are below certain thresholds. The thresholds for 2017 were:
- $48,340 ($53,930 if married filing jointly) for those with three or more qualifying children;
- $45,007 ($50,597 if married filing jointly) for people with two qualifying children;
- $39,617 ($45,207 if married filing jointly) for those with one qualifying child, and;
- $15,010 ($20,600 if married filing jointly) for people without qualifying children.
Current and prior year tax forms (such as the tax year 2017 Form 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ) and instructions are available here 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 2017, 2018 or 2019 should request copies from their employer, bank or other payer. Taxpayers who are unable to get missing forms can order a free wage and income transcript here. They can also file Form 4506-T to request a wage and income transcript, which 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 from the transcript to file their tax return.
First-time filers and EIP eligible
First-time filers and those who usually don’t have a federal filing requirement must file a 2020 tax return to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit (RRC), if they were eligible but did not receive the first or second Economic Impact Payment (EIP), or received less than the full amounts.
Taxpayers who received the full amounts of both EIPs cannot claim the RRC and should not include any information about the payments on their 2020 tax return.
Click here for free options to prepare and file a return.