The 6,500 Utahns who didn't file income tax returns in 2009 may want to rethink that decision. And they better do it pretty soon.
The Internal Revenue Service says those folks may have a claim to more than $5 million worth of refunds, with more than half totaling at least $500 each.
The $5 million owed to Utahns is part of $917 million in unclaimed refunds owed to nearly 1 million people nationwide who failed to file returns for 2009.
But don't wait. The window for a 2009 refund closes on April 15. Any unclaimed refunds then become property of the U.S. Treasury.
According to an IRS news release, some didn't file because they didn't make enough money to meet income requirements. But they still had taxes withheld from their wages or made quarterly tax payments and that may yield a refund.
Those non-filers may also be missing out on the Earned Income Tax Credit (or EITC), which aims to help low-income households. In 2009, the credit could be claimed by those who fell within these income thresholds:
•Up to $43,279 (or $48,279 if married filing jointly) with three or more children,
•$40,295 ($45,295 if married filing jointly) for people with two qualifying children,
•$35,463 ($40,463 if married filing jointly) for those with one qualifying child, and
•$13,440 ($18,440 if married filing jointly) for people without qualifying children.
You can find all the 2009 tax forms you'll need online at www.IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676). To file a 2009 tax return, you'll still need supporting documents such as W-2s and 1099s, so if you don't have them, ask your employer or bank for copies.
The IRS points out there is no penalty for filing a late 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.
And if you've got unpaid child support, student loans or owe money to the IRS, a refund could be diverted to pay those obligations, as well.
To find 2009 tax forms
O Go online to www.IRS.gov or call 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).