WASHINGTON ― The Internal Revenue Service today encouraged nearly 1.5 million people across the nation to submit a tax return to claim their refunds for tax year 2019 by the July 17, 2023, deadline.
The IRS estimates almost $1.5 billion in refunds remain unclaimed because people haven’t filed their 2019 tax returns yet. Available data includes a special state-by-state estimate of how many people are potentially eligible for these refunds in each state and each state’s median potential refund. The average median refund for tax year 2019 was $893.
“Time is running out for more than a million people to get their tax refunds for 2019,” said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. “Many people may have overlooked filing a 2019 tax return due to the pandemic. We don’t want people to miss their window to receive their refund. We encourage people to check their records and act quickly before the deadline. The IRS has several important ways that people can get help.”
Under the law, taxpayers usually have three years to file and claim their tax refunds. If they don’t file within three years, the money becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury.
For 2019 tax returns, however, people have more time than usual to file to claim their refunds. Usually, the normal filing deadline to claim old refunds falls around the April tax deadline, which was April 18 this year for 2022 tax returns. But the three-year window for 2019 unfiled returns was postponed to July 17, 2023, due to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency. IRS Notice 2023-21, issued on Feb. 27, 2023, provided legal guidance on claims made by the postponed deadline. The law requires taxpayers to properly address, mail and ensure the tax return is postmarked by July 17, 2023.