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Thousands of Oklahomans due millions in unclaimed tax refunds

An April 15 deadline looming for Oklahomans who are owed more than $13 million in tax refunds because they failed to file a federal tax return for 2009
by Brianna Bailey Published: March 15, 2013

An estimated $13.4 million in unclaimed tax refund money is waiting for about 15,200 Oklahomans who did not file a federal income tax return for 2009, the Internal Revenue Service reported on Thursday.

The average median potential unclaimed 2009 refund for Oklahomans is $573.

Taxpayers must file a return with the IRS by April 15 to receive a refund for 2009.

“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,” the IRS said in a statement.

Also, many low- and middle-income people who didn't file returns may be missing out on the Earned Income Tax Credit. In 2009, a married couple with three or more children could earn up to $48,279 and qualify for the credit. Income thresholds are lower for couples and single filers with fewer children.

The IRS reported Thursday that there is more than $917 million in unclaimed tax returns for an estimated 984,400 taxpayers in the United States who did not file a federal income tax return for 2009. Most of the refunds exceed $500, the IRS said.

Federal law gives most taxpayers a three-year window to file an income and claim a refund if no return has yet been filed. Tax refunds that go unclaimed become property of the U.S. Treasury after three years.

There is no penalty for filing a late tax return that qualifies for a refund. But the agency says refunds may be delayed if taxpayers also failed to file returns for 2010 and 2011.

The government can also withhold tax refunds to settle unpaid federal and state taxes, as well as unpaid child support and past due student loans.

by Brianna Bailey
Business Writer
Brianna Bailey has lived in Idaho, Germany and Southern California, but Oklahoma is her adopted home. She has a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and has worked at several newspapers in Oklahoma and Southern...
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