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More than $42 Million in Unclaimed Tax Refunds Unclaimed in Michigan

Press Release march 5, 2009

DETROIT - The IRS has announced that it has unclaimed refunds totaling $42,390,000 for approximately 45,100 Michigan residents who did not file a federal income tax return for 2005. Nationally there are approximately $1.3 billion awaiting over a million people. However, to collect the money, a return for 2005 must be filed with the IRS no later than Tuesday, April 15, 2009.

"We understand many people are experiencing financial distress these days which is all the more reason they should not lose out on this money," said IRS Spokesperson Luis D. Garcia."If you had taxes withheld from your paycheck but were not required to file a tax return you may be missing out on money like valuable tax credits and that can really add up."

The IRS estimates that half of those who could claim refunds for tax year 2005 would receive more than $609. Some individuals 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. In cases where a return was not filed, the law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window of opportunity for claiming a refund. If no return is filed to claim the refund within three years, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury. For 2005 returns, the window closes on April 15, 2009. The law requires that the return be properly addressed, postmarked and mailed by that date.

There is no penalty for filing a late return that qualifies for a refund.

The IRS reminds taxpayers seeking a 2005 refund that their checks will be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2006 or 2007. In addition, the refund will be applied to any amounts still owed to the IRS and may be used to satisfy unpaid child support or past due federal debts such as student loans.

By failing to file a return, individuals stand to lose more than refunds of taxes withheld or paid during 2005. Many low-income workers may not have claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Generally, unmarried individuals qualified for the EITC if in 2005 they earned less than $35,263 and had more than one qualifying child living with them. Limits are slightly higher for married individuals filing jointly. The $42 million Michigan unclaimed refunds amount does not include the EITC. In 2005 602,000 taxpayers received the EITC in Michigan bringing $1.2 billion into the state economy.

Current and prior year tax forms and instructions are available on the Forms and Publications Web page of or by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676). Information about the Earned Income Tax Credit and how to claim it is also available on Taxpayers who need help also can call the toll-free IRS help line at 1-800-829-1040.


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