WASHINGTON – 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, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
“The IRS wants to help taxpayers who are due refunds but haven’t filed their 2017 tax returns yet,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Time is quickly running out for these taxpayers. There’s only a three-year window to claim these refunds, and the window closes on May 17. We want to help people get these refunds, but they will need to quickly file a 2017 tax return.”
The IRS announced on Feb. 16th that, as required by law, all legally permitted first and second round of Economic Impact Payments have been issued and the IRS now turns its full attention to the 2021 filing season.
Beginning in April 2020, the IRS and Treasury Department began delivering the first round of Economic Impact Payments within two weeks of the legislation. The IRS issued more than 160 million EIPs to taxpayers across the country totaling over $270 billion, while simultaneously managing an extended filing season. In addition, since Congress enacted the COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020, the IRS has delivered more than 147 million EIPs in the second-round totaling over $142 billion.
As people begin to file their 2020 tax returns, taxpayers are reminded to avoid unethical ghost tax return preparers.
A ghost preparer is someone who doesn’t sign tax returns they prepare. Unscrupulous ghost preparers often print the return and have the taxpayer to sign and mail it to the IRS. For e-filed returns, the ghost will prepare but refuse to digitally sign as the paid preparer.
With filing season opening on Feb. 12, the Internal Revenue Service urged taxpayers to take some simple steps to help ensure they file accurate tax returns and speed their tax refunds to avoid a variety of pandemic-related issues.
Although every year the IRS encourages taxpayers to e-file their returns and use direct deposit to receive refunds, to those taxpayers who have previously not used e-file, the IRS emphasizes using it this year to avoid paper-related processing delays.
Tax preparers who cannot attend the IRS Nationwide Tax Forums in person can do so online. They can visit IRS Nationwide Tax Forums Online anytime to earn continuing education credits. The website offers courses based on recorded seminars from previous forums. The courses can be watched for free or purchased for continuing education credits.
To receive credits, preparers will need to create an account. The frequently asked questions on the website have details about how to do this. Once preparers have an account, they can take courses on a wide variety of topics to help them serve their individual and business clients.