Could some of the IRS's $1.3 billion in unclaimed tax refunds belong to you?

As April 15 creeps closer, many taxpayers are focusing on refunds. While those taxpayers rush to file their returns on or before Tax Day, the tax deadline takes on a whole other meaning for others. April 15 is not only Tax Day for the 2009 tax year -- it's the last day to claim a refund for the 2006 tax year.

The Internal Revenue Service may be holding more than $1.3 billion in refunds for taxpayers who failed to claim them in 2006. More than 1.4 million taxpayers are due a refund, the IRS said, with the median refund totaling $604.
To claim a refund, a taxpayer must file a tax return for 2006 by April 15, 2010. After that time, the three-year statute of limitations runs out -- and you're out of luck. The US government gets to keep the money.

The three years to claim your refund starts as of the date of filing (if you previously filed a return) or April 15 following your tax year. In the case of those 2006 returns, the clock began to tick on April 15, 2007.

Of course, all of the old rules still apply. If you have outstanding tax liabilities or if you haven't filed your tax returns for 2007 and 2008, you won't receive your refund. Instead, it will be applied toward any obligations. Additionally, your refund may be applied to any other outstanding federal obligations you may have, such as unpaid child support or past due student loans.

Don't assume that you aren't entitled to a refund because you didn't have any withholding. Taxpayers who did not have withholding may still receive a refund due to the one-time telephone excise credit and the earned income tax credit (EITC).

Available for the 2006 tax year only, the special telephone excise tax refund applied to long-distance excise taxes paid on phone service (either as a land line or cell phone service) billed from March 2003 through July 2006. If you believe your actual amount of tax paid exceeds the standard amounts, you can make that calculation on your return. For more information, check out the IRS Web site.

You may also be eligible to claim the EITC, generally meant for low- to middle-income taxpayers. The EITC can result in a refund of taxes paid via withholding -- and in some cases, you may be entitled to more than you paid. The thresholds for 2006 were $38,348 for those taxpayers with two or more children, $34,001 for taxpayers with one child, and $14,120 for those qualifying taxpayers with no children.

Nearly one-third of all refunds are earmarked for taxpayers in three states: California, Florida and Texas. However, taxpayers in New Hampshire, Alaska, and Wyoming will claim the most dollars per taxpayer. Additionally, nearly 5,000 taxpayers in the armed forces are due a refund.

If you think you qualify for a refund, you can run the numbers and see. You can file using a 2006 form 1040 (downloads as a pdf) or a 2006 form 1040-EZ (downloads as a pdf), depending on your circumstances.

What are you waiting for? There's no penalty for filing a late return if you qualify for a refund. And you might walk away with a few more dollars in your pocket.

The 10 Most Overlooked Tax Deductions

Don't overpay taxes by overlooking these tax deductions. See the 10 most common deductions taxpayers miss on their tax returns so you can keep more money in your pocket.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

How to Find a Good CPA for Your Taxes

Finding a good CPA for your taxes is simple with these seven tips: 1. Ask about their specialization; 2. Verify their identification number, 3. Look up their license, 4. Consider their experience, 5. Confirm their willingness to sign, 6. Ask for advice, and 7. Determine their fees.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

Reporting Self-Employment Business Income and Deductions

Self-employed taxpayers report their business income and expenses on Schedule C. TurboTax can help make the job easier.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

2018 Tax Reform Impact: What You Should Know

Congress has passed the largest piece of tax reform legislation in more than three decades. The bill went into place on January 1, 2018, which means that it will affect the taxes of most taxpayers for the 2018 tax year.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com
Read Full Story
Your resource on tax filing
Tax season is here! Check out the Tax Center on AOL Finance for all the tips and tools you need to maximize your return.