Not filing a tax return is a more common situation than you might think. Every year millions of Americans don’t file a tax return for a lot of reasons, the most common being they didn’t know they had to. Even if your only source of income is unemployment, disability, or a social security check, you still have to pay taxes. Even if it’s your 2008 tax return that’s sitting around.
The good news is that most people who fit into the above categories are eligible for refunds. Big refunds. That 2008 tax return isn’t so much a burden for you to file out, as a source of money you’re not tapping. Here’s why:
The IRS likes money. Specifically, the IRS likes your money. Which means they’re more liable to tell you when you owe them, as opposed to when they owe you. Did you know the IRS has almost 165 million dollars in unpaid refunds just sitting around? Most come from incorrect addresses, but some of it is from your unfiled 2008 tax return.
More important, if you’re liable to get a refund and you don’t file, not only do you miss out on getting that money back, you also get hit with a FTF (failure to file) penalty. And the longer you wait to file your 2008 tax return, the bigger your penalty is–which means the smaller your refund is. Yup, the government is eating up your money because you’re sitting around not filing your 2008 tax return.
Let me say that again: the government is using your fear, lack of information, or lack or time to steal your own money from you!
Fortunately, your refunds are eligible to be taken up to 3 years after the tax season has ended. So if you have an old 2008 tax return lying around–or heck, a 2007 or 2009 return, file it as soon as you can! There’s no reason to let you money sit around, waiting to get stolen.