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Deadline to claim $1 billion in tax refunds nears – do you qualify?

(NEXSTAR) – A crucial deadline is coming later this month for some taxpayers who may be owed their share of an estimated $1 billion in refunds, the Internal Revenue Service announced.

Taxpayers who did not file their tax year 2020 returns may be eligible to collect a refund if they file by May 17, and there’s no penalty for failure to file if a refund is due.

To get a refund, however, the return must reach the IRS within three years of the due date. The cutoff is later this year because in 2020 COVID-19 delayed the filing deadline beyond mid-April.

This year’s deadline marks the last chance for taxpayers to not only claim old refunds, but also any owed tax credits. Taxpayers who may have overpaid the government or withheld too much will also miss out on a refund check or the chance to apply the balance to other tax years.

Don’t forget about tax credits

Taxpayers who didn’t file in tax year 2020 won’t just miss out on a potential refund, according to the IRS, but any credit they might qualify for.

Not included in the $1 billion estimate are the Earned Income Tax Credit, which could be worth as much as $6,660 for lower income workers with qualifying families, and the Recovery Rebate Credit – a refundable credit for those who did not receive one or more of the stimulus checks sent out during 2020 and 2021.

If you want to beat the May 17 deadline, the IRS encourages taxpayers to start as quickly as they can, as it will take some time to track down the necessary documents from employers, banks or other payers.

A free wage and income transcript can be ordered at IRS.gov. Not sure whether or not you need to file a return? See additional guidance from the IRS.

Which states are owed the most?

The IRS broke down the estimated amount owed to taxpayers by state, and found that Texas tops all others at $107,130,200, followed by California ($94,226,300) and Florida ($58,210,500)

State or District Estimated Number of Individuals Median Potential Refund Total Potential Refunds*
Alabama 15,200 $926 $16,839,800
Alaska 3,700 $931 $4,335,300
Arizona 25,400 $871 $26,939,600
Arkansas 8,700 $923 $9,392,600
California 88,200 $835 $94,226,300
Colorado 18,500 $894 $20,109,900
Connecticut 9,800 $978 $11,343,600
Delaware 3,600 $945 $4,156,500
District of Columbia 2,900 $968 $3,503,800
Florida 53,200 $891 $58,210,500
Georgia 36,400 $900 $39,175,600
Hawaii 5,200 $979 $5,972,600
Idaho 4,500 $761 $4,369,600
Illinois 36,200 $956 $40,608,000
Indiana 19,200 $922 $20,893,000
Iowa 9,600 $953 $10,601,700
Kansas 8,700 $900 $9,285,600
Kentucky 10,600 $920 $11,236,300
Louisiana 15,100 $957 $17,357,300
Maine 3,800 $923 $4,030,200
Maryland 22,200 $991 $26,365,400
Massachusetts 21,800 $975 $25,071,800
Michigan 34,900 $976 $38,274,800
Minnesota 13,500 $818 $14,043,900
Mississippi 8,100 $861 $8,685,000
Missouri 19,500 $893 $20,803,400
Montana 3,400 $851 $3,632,100
Nebraska 4,700 $901 $5,007,300
Nevada 10,200 $890 $11,143,900
New Hampshire 4,200 $982 $4,923,100
New Jersey 24,400 $920 $27,408,300
New Mexico 6,500 $868 $7,032,700
New York 51,400 $1,029 $60,837,400
North Carolina 27,500 $895 $29,304,100
North Dakota 2,200 $953 $2,482,600
Ohio 31,400 $909 $32,939,900
Oklahoma 14,300 $902 $15,566,900
Oregon 15,300 $847 $15,857,800
Pennsylvania 38,600 $1,031 $43,412,900
Rhode Island 2,600 $986 $2,980,500
South Carolina 11,900 $840 $12,564,900
South Dakota 2,200 $892 $2,346,300
Tennessee 16,800 $909 $18,007,000
Texas 93,400 $960 $107,130,200
Utah 7,800 $836 $8,191,700
Vermont 1,700 $911 $1,818,600
Virginia 25,900 $914 $28,944,600
Washington 26,200 $976 $31,110,300
West Virginia 3,800 $950 $4,130,400
Wisconsin 11,800 $837 $12,139,400
Wyoming 2,100 $961 $2,416,300
Totals 938,800 $932 $1,037,161,300
*Excluding credits (IRS)

See the IRS website for more.

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