The IRS may owe you money

Refunds totaling just over $13 million may be waiting for an estimated 12,100 Connecticut taxpayers who did not file a federal income tax return for 2009, according to Internal Revenue Service officials.

However, to collect the money, a return for 2009 must be filed with the IRS no later than Monday, April 15 of this year.

The IRS estimates that half the potential refunds due Connecticut taxpayers for 2009 are worth more than $638.

Some people may not have filed because they had too little income to require filing a tax return even though they had taxes withheld from their wages or made quarterly estimated payments.

Three years to claim 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,” said Dianne Besunder, IRS spokeswoman for Connecticut. “If no return is filed to claim a refund within three years, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury.”

For 2009 returns, the window closes on April 15. The law requires that the return be properly addressed, mailed and postmarked by that date. There is no penalty for filing a late return qualifying for a refund.

Must file more recent returns, too

The IRS reminds taxpayers seeking a 2009 refund that their checks may be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2010 and 2011. In addition, the refund will be applied to any amounts still owed to the IRS or their 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 return, people stand to lose more than refund of taxes withheld or paid during 2009. In addition, many low- and moderate-income workers may not have claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). For 2009, the credit is worth as much as $5,657.

Tax credit thresholds

The EITC helps individuals and families whose incomes are below certain thresholds. The EITC thresholds for 2009 were:

—$43,279 ($48,279 if married filing jointly) for those with three or more qualifying children

—$40,295 ($45,295 if married filing jointly) for people with two qualifying children

—$35,463 ($40,463 if married filing jointly) for those with one qualifying child

—$13,440 ($18,440 if married filing jointly) for people without qualifying children

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