If you have not yet filed your federal Form 1040 tax return for 2012 with the IRS, any refund listed on that tax return will soon be barred by the refund statute of limitation.
Generally speaking, a taxpayer has three years from the due date of the tax return to claim a refund for that year, plus any extension. The due date of the 2012 federal Form 1040 tax returns was April 15, 2013. If an extension was not timely filed, the expiration of the refund statute of limitation for 2012 is April 18, 2016. If you have not yet filed your federal Form 1040 tax return for 2012 with the IRS, I strongly urge you to do so on or before April 18, 2016, to ensure that you receive the refund to which you are entitled.
The IRS recently announced that nearly 1 million people should have filed federal returns but didn’t, leaving $950 million in unclaimed refunds for 2012. According to IRS estimates, half of the potential refunds for 2012 are $718 or more.
If your tax return for 2012 is filed on or after April 18, 2016, and if an extension was not timely filed, the law bars any refund to which you are entitled. Even if you have unpaid liabilities for other years, the lost refund does not apply to any of the other years. The application of this law acts to deny refunds to which hard-working Americans are otherwise entitled.
Unfortunately, many millions of dollars are lost in this fashion every year simply because taxpayers did not file their tax returns within the applicable limitation period. I would rather see these funds go into the pockets of the taxpayers who earned this money instead of being kept by the federal government.
Patrick T. Sheehan is a former IRS attorney whose practice focuses exclusively on assisting individuals and businesses with their tax disputes before the Internal Revenue Service and the Illinois Department of Revenue.
Patrick T. Sheehan and Associates is the largest tax dispute resolution law firm in DuPage County. For more information regarding Patrick T. Sheehan and Associates and the services they offer, call 877-4 IRS LAW or contact us through our online form.
If you have not yet filed your tax return for 2012 or for any other year, please immediately call us. We can help.