As people set out to complete their tax returns for 2014, it is a good idea to make sure prior returns have been filed as necessary. There is a three year window that each taxpayer has to complete this. For those who did not file a return for 2011, this is their last chance. The absolute last filing date for 2011 returns is the same as this year’s return deadline, April 15th.
In our previous post we wrote about certain consequences that someone who failed to file a tax return could face. However, there is not a penalty for filing a tax return late if as a result of that filing the filer will receive a refund. Any refunds not applied for by the deadline will be lost forever, becoming property of the United States Treasury.
There are certain requirements that must be met to obtain the tax return owed for 2011. For example, filers seeking the refund must have filed tax returns in the intervening years—2012 and 2013. In addition, they must not owe any additional amounts to either the state of federal government in taxes. Should the filer owe money on student loans or child support, the money will go there.
Currently, it is estimated that 1 million taxpayers still have to file a tax return for 2011.According to the IRS, the amount of money in tax returns yet to be returned is $1 billion.
The rules surrounding income tax returns are complicated. Because the penalties surrounding an issue with the IRS can be severe, consulting an income tax lawyer for assistance is often a good idea.