Tim’s Tax News on the Tenth – March 2018



The IRS announced it estimates that there may be unclaimed federal income tax refunds totaling about $1.1 billion for about an estimated 1 million taxpayers who did not file a 2014 federal income tax return. Those taxpayers have until this year's tax deadline, Tuesday, April 17 to collect the money by filing their 2014 tax return with the IRS.

"We’re trying to connect a million people with their share of $1.1 billion in unclaimed refunds for 2014,” said Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter. “Time is running out for people who haven’t filed tax returns to claim their refunds. Students, part-time workers and many others may have overlooked filing for 2014. And there’s no penalty for filing a late return if you’re due a refund.”

The IRS estimates the midpoint for the potential refunds for 2014 to be $847; half of the refunds are more than $847 and half are less.

In cases where a federal income tax return was not filed, the law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window of opportunity for claiming a tax refund. If they do not file a tax return within three years, the money becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury. For 2014 tax returns, the window closes April 17, 2018. The law requires taxpayers to properly address, mail and ensure the tax return is postmarked by that date.

The IRS reminds taxpayers seeking a 2014 tax refund that their checks may be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2015 and 2016. In addition, the refund will be applied to any amounts still owed to the IRS or a state tax agency and may be used to offset unpaid child support or past due federal debts, such as student loans.

By failing to file a tax return, people stand to lose more than just their refund of taxes withheld or paid during 2014. Many low- and moderate-income workers may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). For 2014, the credit was worth as much as $6,143. The EITC helps individuals and families whose incomes are below certain thresholds. The thresholds for 2014 were:

  • $46,997 ($52,427 if married filing jointly) for those with three or more qualifying children;
  • $43,756 ($49,186 if married filing jointly) for people with two qualifying children;
  • $38,511 ($43,941 if married filing jointly) for those with one qualifying child, and;
  • $14,590 ($20,020 if married filing jointly) for people without qualifying children.

Current and prior year tax forms (such as the tax year 2014 Form 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ) and instructions are available on the IRS.gov Forms and Publications page. The IRS estimates there may be 39,500 Illinois citizens with a total possible refund of $43,600,000.00 that may loss their 2014 refund if not filed by April 17, 2018.

Our office has been successful in helping taxpayers with IRS and IDOR collection problems for over 26 years. If you have a tax or debt problem, please contact me at (847) 705-9698 or thughes@lavellelaw.com and find out how we can help you. Above all, if you are unable to pay your tax bill, do not wait to call us. There are many programs designed to help taxpayers who are having trouble paying their tax bills. Because interest and penalties on unpaid taxes can add up very quickly, it is better to call our office sooner rather than later for help.

Lavelle Law, Ltd. is registered with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation as an approved continuing education provider for CPE for CPAs and Enrolled Agents. If your organization is seeking CPE courses in the area of Business Law, Innocent Spouse Relief, IRS Collections, Tax Scams (including ID Theft) or other areas in tax law that can be taught at your office, please contact me at thughes@lavellelaw.com.

Are you receiving the Lavelle Law eNewsletter? Sign up today and receive valuable updates and perspectives on a wide range of legal issues: http://goo.gl/pjeJkm