An estimated one million taxpayers haven’t filed their 2014 tax returns resulting in approximately $1.1 billion in unclaimed federal tax refunds. Are you one of those taxpayers? If so, you’ll need to get the original return filed no later than Tuesday, April 17, 2018, or risk losing your tax refund. IRS regulations allow taxpayers who haven’t filed their tax return three-years to submit the return to claim a refund. The three-year period begins on the due date of the original return, including extensions. If the taxpayer fails to file his return within the three-year period following the due date of the return, including extensions, the refund will be forfeited.
While some taxpayers simply haven’t bothered to file a return, there are those who don’t realize that even if they aren’t required to file a return, they could do so to claim a refund. Examples of those who may not be required to file a return, but may receive a refund are:
- Students who work part-time jobs and are still dependents
- Seniors who work a part-time job and have limited income from other sources
- Single or low-income taxpayers with low paying jobs and little federal tax withheld, but who may qualify for refundable credits
- Unemployed individuals who have received unemployment all year and had federal taxes withheld from their unemployment benefits
You may experience a delay in receiving your 2014 refund if you haven’t filed tax returns for tax years 2015 and 2016. The IRS could withhold the refund until you are fully compliant with all unfiled tax returns. The IRS can apply your refund to outstanding debts, such as an IRS balance due, a state tax agency debts, delinquent student loans or is delinquent child support payments.
Amended returns for tax year 2014 should be filed no later than April 17, 2018, to claim a refund. You can file the amended returnwithin two years from the date you paid the tax if that date is later. Amended returns are filed if an error or omission occurred on the original return. Form 1040X is used to complete an amended return.
The same rules apply to the Virginia state a late original return. The Virginia filing deadline is Tuesday, May 1, 2018; therefore, the 2014 tax return must be filed no later than May 1, 2018.
When filing an amended Virginia return, the Virginia Department of Taxation may issue a refund only if the amended return is filed during the following periods.
- Three-years from the due date of the original return, including extensions
- One-year from the final determination of the amended federal return or a change to the federal tax return, whichever is later, provided that the allowable refund is not more than the decrease in Virginia tax attributable to the change to the federal tax return or correction
- Two-years from the date an amended Virginia return was filed resulting in the payment of additional tax, provided that the current amended return raises issues relating solely to the prior amended return and that the refund does not exceed the amount of the tax payment made as a result of the prior amended return
- Two-years from the payment of an assessment, provided the amended return raises issues relating only to the prior assessment and the refund does not exceed the amount of tax paid on the prior assessment