Nearly 2 million people have yet to file their 1999 federal income tax returns and their time is running out. Taxpayers owed a refund of 1999 income taxes have until midnight April 15, 2003 to file their 1999 tax returns or else they forfeit the tax refund.
The Internal Revenue Service believes that more than $2.5 billion for 1999 tax returns has gone unclaimed. Any unclaimed tax refund money will belong to the U.S. government as of April 16, 2003.
About half of the taxpayers owed refunds are entitled to receive more than $500. Some people were not required to file a tax return because their income was too low, but they worked and had taxes withheld from their pay. The federal income tax that was withheld from these workers can be refunded if tax forms are filed by April 15.
Many people owed money are people who qualified for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC is a refundable credit, payable even if no tax is owed. To qualify for the credit in 1999, individuals had to meet one of these three criteria:
- Earned income less than $30,580 and more than one qualifying child
- Earned income less than $26,928 and one qualifying child
- Earned income less than $10,200 and no qualifying children
There are no penalties for late filing if you are owed a refund, however the IRS will hold refund payments if the taxpayer has yet to file a 2000 or 2001 income tax return.
Tax forms for 1999 are available on the IRS Web site, or you can request forms in the mail by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676). Taxpayers who have not yet filed a 1999 federal income tax return should remember to consider their filing responsibility in their state as well.