RIers still eligible to claim nearly $3M in 2020 tax refunds, rebates

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EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — About 2,600 Rhode Islanders who didn’t file federal tax returns in 2020 are still eligible to claim refunds and Economic Impact Payments, according to U.S. Senator Jack Reed.

ORIGINAL NOTE: https://www.wpri.com/money/riers-still-eligible-to-claim-nearly-3m-in-2020-tax-refunds-rebates/

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said nearly $1 billion in refunds and rebates from the 2020 tax season are still unclaimed, with an estimated $2.98 million of those funds owed to Rhode Islanders.

Taxpayers have three years from the filing date to file and claim their tax refunds, after which any money “becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury.” But because the COVID-19 pandemic delayed 2020’s official tax deadline to May 17, 2021, the deadline to claim those funds is May 17.

Additionally, the IRS decreed in 2021 that there are no penalties for claiming a refund on any 2020 tax returns filed after the deadline, so taxpayers can receive a full return even if they have yet to file.

“The pandemic caused unusual circumstances and some people may have overlooked these refunds at the time,” Reed said. “But it’s not too late to act now and claim them before May 17.” The median potential refund for Rhode Islanders is $986.

Here’s how to claim your 2020 tax refund (and any funds you qualified for under the Earned Income Tax Credit) before May 17:

  1. You must not be a dependent of another taxpayer
  2. You must have a Social Security number issued before May 17, 2021
  3. You must file your 2020 tax return before May 17, 2024

The IRS notes that funds may be withheld if the taxpayer has not filed for 2021 or 2022, and will be applied to any amounts still owed to state or federal agencies.