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Refund opportunity for non-2007 tax filers

Photo by Hugh Osteen

Photo by Hugh Osteen

By M.J. Subiria Arauz

msubiria@news-daily.com

Georgia has more than $35 million waiting for its 37,000 residents who did not file their 2007 federal income tax return, according to a spokesperson for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Mark Green said individuals who wish to collect their unclaimed refunds, must file a 2007 return with the IRS no later than April 18. The IRS estimates that half of these unclaimed refunds for 2007, are $590 or more, he said.

In addition, said Green, the law requires that the tax returns be properly addressed, mailed and postmarked by the due date. Individuals will not receive a penalty for filing a late return that qualifies for a refund.

"In cases where a return was not filed, the law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window of opportunity for claiming a refund," he said in a written statement. "If no return is filed to claim the refund within three years, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury."

The spokesman added that nationwide, the unclaimed 2007 refunds total more than $1.1 billion for nearly 1.1 million people.

"Time is running out if you want to get your refund," said Green. "Taxpayers should review their 2007 statements for refundable credits and withholdings. We want all taxpayers to file a tax return and get the refund they're due."

Greens said those seeking a 2007 refund may have their checks held by the IRS, if they have not filed 2008 and 2009 tax returns. The refund will be applied to any amounts owed to the IRS, as well as, to offset unpaid child support, or any past due federal debts, such as student loans, he said.

According to Green, some Georgians chose not to file a tax return because their income was too small to require filing one, though taxes were withheld from their wages or they made quarterly estimated payments.

"By failing to file a return, people stand to lose more than a refund of taxes withheld or paid during 2007," he said.

Furthermore, low-and-moderate income workers may not have claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit, in 2007, which assists those whose annual incomes are below a certain amount, said Green.

For example, in 2007 income levels had to be below $39,783 for people with two or more children, $35,241 for those with one child and $14,590 for individuals with no children, according to Green.

For more information about the Earned Income Tax Credit, visit the IRS web site at, www.irs.gov.

Green said for more information on current and prior year tax forms and instructions, individuals should view the Forms and Publication page, at the IRS web site, or call 1-800-829-3676.