Feds could owe you nearly $1,000. Here’s what you need to do this week

ATLANTA — The Internal Revenue Service announced that nearly a million people across the U.S. have unclaimed tax returns for tax year 2020 and face a deadline of May 17 to submit their returns.

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The IRS estimates that more than $1 billion in refunds haven’t been claimed because people haven’t filed their 2020 returns yet. The average refund is $932.


In Georgia, 36,400 people are eligible for returns averaging $900 each. Georgians are owed a total of $39,175,600 in unclaimed refunds.

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“There’s money remaining on the table for hundreds of thousands of people who haven’t filed 2020 tax returns,” said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. “We want taxpayers to claim these refunds, but time is running out for people who may have overlooked or forgotten about these refunds. There’s a May 17 deadline to file these returns so taxpayers should start soon to make sure they don’t miss out.”

Taxpayers usually have three years to file and claim their refunds or else the money goes back to the U.S. Treasury. For 2020 returns, people have been given a little more time to claim refunds due to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency.

“People faced extremely unusual situations during the pandemic, which may have led some people to forget about a potential refund on their 2020 tax returns,” Werfel said. “People may have just overlooked these, including students, part-time workers and others. Some people may not realize they may be owed a refund. We encourage people to review their files and start gathering records now, so they don’t run the risk of missing the May deadline.”

Current and prior year tax forms (such as the tax year 2020 Forms 1040 and 1040-SR) and instructions are available on the IRS.gov Forms & Instructions page or by calling toll-free 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

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