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The IRS announced that more than $1.5 billion of unclaimed income tax refunds awaited an estimated 1.4 million individual taxpayers who did not file a 2016 federal income tax return. The IRS extended the due date for filing tax year 2016 returns and claiming refunds for that year to July 15, 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The IRS urged taxpayers who haven’t filed past due tax returns no later than this year’s extended tax due date of July 15, 2020 to claim refunds. However, the IRS reminded taxpayers that there would be no penalty for filing late when a refund is involved.

The law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window of opportunity to claim a tax refund, in cases where a tax return was not filed. Further, taxpayers are required to properly address, mail and ensure the tax return is postmarked by the July 15 date. It is worth noting that checks of taxpayer’s seeking a 2016 tax refund may be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2017 and 2018. Additionally, the refund would be applied to any amounts owed to the IRS or state tax agency and may be used to offset unpaid child support or past due federal debts, such as student loans.

Taxpayers stand to lose more than just their refund of taxes withheld or paid during 2016, if they fail to file a tax return. Many low- and moderate-income workers may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Finally, current and prior year tax forms (such as the tax year 2016 Form 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ) and instructions are available on the IRS Forms and Publications page or by calling toll-free 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

Wilson Tax Law Group, APLC ( is a boutique Orange County tax controversy law firm that specializes in representation of individuals and businesses before federal and state tax authorities with audits, appeals, FBAR, offshore compliance, litigation and criminal defense.  Firm founder, Joseph P. Wilson, is a former Federal tax prosecutor and trial attorney for the IRS and California Franchise Tax Board.  Wilson Tax Law Group is exclusively comprised of former IRS litigators and Assistant US Attorneys from the US Attorney’s Office, Central District of California, Tax Division and Criminal Division.

For further information, or to arrange a consultation please contact: Wilson Tax Law Group, APLC

Newport Beach and Yorba Linda, California

Tel: (949) 397-2292 (Newport Beach Office)

Tel: (714) 463-4430 (Yorba Linda Office)

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