$1.4B in unclaimed tax refunds to expire in April, IRS warns

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is urging taxpayers who did not file their 2015 tax returns to do so, especially if they are due a refund.

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On Wednesday, the agency announced it is sitting on unclaimed refunds totaling nearly $1.4 billion. That money belongs to an estimated 1.2 million Americans who did not file a 2015 1040 form.

"We’re trying to connect over a million people with their share of $1.4 billion in potentially unclaimed refunds for 2015,” IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said in a statement. “Students, part-time workers and many others may have overlooked filing for 2015.”

The median refund among the unclaimed checks is about $879.

In order to claim the cash, taxpayers must file their 2015 form by this year’s tax deadline – April 15 – or April 17 for residents in Maine and Massachusetts. Forms are available on the IRS website.

There is no penalty for filing a late return.

If the money goes unclaimed, after three years it generally becomes property of the U.S. Treasury.

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Checks may be held for taxpayers who also haven’t filed for 2016 and 2017, the IRS noted.

This year, the average refund as of March 1 was $3,159, about the same as the comparable time period last year.